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About Project


Client: Undisclosed

Subject: USB NFC Reader with embedded Secure Element (eSE)

Created a USB NFC Reader from the ground up.  The customer wanted a USB reader with an attached secure element for key management and cryptographic processing.

Our Task Was

Complete design and development, from the concept stage to completed functional prototypes.

Key Components

  • PN544
  • SmartMX
  • PIC 18F13K50



  • Designed the system architecture
  • Included a JCOP secure element, something not common at the time

Part Selection

  • Selected the best available parts for the project requirements
  • Mobile NFC controller, secure element and MCU

Design and Layout

  • complete electrical design using Eagle
  • 4 layer PCB layout
  • 0.5mm BGA – very uncommon at the time


  • Identified a PCB manufacturer able to support cost and quality constraints
  • 4 mil traces, 6 mil through hole via in pad for BGA
  • No blind or buried vias required


  • Created and placed all part orders
  • Identified a CM to perform assembly
  • Oversaw quality of output


  • Developed and implemented all firmware
  • USB PCSC with custom commands
  • Implemented reader modes for ISO-14443 Type A and B
  • MiFare support


Customer received a fully functioning USB reader to use as a final product.

  • Extremely small form factor
  • Cutting edge technologies (PN544)
  • JCOP secure element (SmartMX)


Ingenutec provided complete design services to take this product from concept to a fully functional prototype.