May 16, 2018

How to Trigger on NFC Commands and Measure Timings


The Challenge

Often the biggest challenge when you analyze near field communication is establishing proper trigger conditions that provide a stable display of waveforms. With conventional oscilloscopes, this means “hit or miss”, because you simply use the default edge trigger until you see what you’re looking for. In most cases, this time-consuming method unfortunately misses the relevant phase of the communication…


The COMPRION Solution

Fortunately, COMPRION has developed a powerful NFC Oscilloscope with a vast number of relevant trigger conditions and ready-made quick measurements for the different communication protocols (NFC-A, NFC-B, NFC-F, NFC-V, ISO 14443 A/B)! This unique feature is integrated in Design Validation Center, the award-winning software for development of NFC/EMVCo-enabled devices. Let’s have a look at a practical example.


Step 1

Assuming you’re interested in the poller communication from a reader device to a tag or card, you first determine the trigger for the measurement. Simply choose one of approximately 100 triggers from the comprehensive library; in our case ALL_REQ (for NFC-A) or WUPA (for ISO):

Step 2

As soon as the next ALL_REQ or WUPA command occurs, the NFC Oscilloscope finds it:

The whole process is fully automatic so that you don’t lose time with manual search or missed tries.


Step 3

Now that you’ve quickly found the right spot, you can start measuring. Analyze the signal and calculate parameter values and other settings stipulated by the NFC-Forum, for example, T1–T5 timings:


The measurement results are displayed instantly, and we’re zooming in:

The GUI shows the results in two ways: as graphs integrated into the waveform and as numbers at the bottom of the work area (green rectangles). Isn’t that convenient?

Now, you could also measure other interesting signal characteristics, for example, the modulation index:

With a stand-alone oscilloscope, you would have to copy and paste the values for calculation to another program. Our integrated NFC Oscilloscope makes the task much easier: just one look at the screen! Comparing measured values to the values referenced by the NFC-Forum specification has never been easier. In our example, the examined reader meets the NFC requirements. Great!
You can even save the results and scope files for future reference – conveniently structured in the project explorer of Design Validation Center.


The Conclusion

As we were able to choose the optimal trigger, we’ve got the most precise measurement results at unprecedented speed.

Contact us and find out how the NFC Oscilloscope facilitates and accelerates the analysis of analog signals. One GUI. Five protocols. A hundred triggers. Even more measurements.

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