Sony FeliCa

Sony FeliCa

FeliCa is a contactless smart card system originally developed by Sony Corporation. It operates at 13.56 MHz frequency, similar to ISO 15693, but it is not compatible with ISO 15693 due to differences in communication protocols. FeliCa cards and systems are widely used in various applications, particularly in Japan, where it has gained significant adoption.

See the typical modulation pattern for FeliCA:

FeliCa modulation

Here are some key aspects of FeliCa:

1. Technology

FeliCa utilizes RFID technology for contactless communication between the card and the reader. It employs a proprietary protocol developed by Sony.

2. Communication Protocol

 FeliCa uses a unique communication protocol that differs from ISO standards like ISO 14443 (used in NFC) and ISO 15693. This proprietary protocol enables fast and secure data transmission between the card and the reader.

3. Memory Structure

 FeliCa cards typically have a memory structure divided into multiple blocks, each of which can store data. This allows for the storage of various types of information such as financial data, transit passes, electronic money, and access control credentials.

4. High-Speed Transactions

 One of the key features of FeliCa is its ability to process transactions quickly. This is particularly important in applications such as transit systems, where passengers need to pass through gates swiftly.

5. Security Features 

FeliCa cards incorporate security features to protect the data stored on the card and to prevent unauthorized access. These security measures may include encryption, authentication, and secure key management.

6. Application Areas

 FeliCa technology is widely used in various applications, especially in Japan, where it has become ubiquitous in public transportation systems, electronic payments, access control, and loyalty programs. It is also utilized in other countries, particularly in East Asia.

7. Mobile Integration

 FeliCa technology has been integrated into mobile devices, enabling them to emulate FeliCa cards. This allows users to utilize their smartphones for contactless transactions, such as making payments or accessing transportation systems, by simply tapping their devices on FeliCa-compatible readers.

8. Continuous Development

Sony continues to develop and refine the FeliCa technology, introducing new features and enhancements to meet the evolving needs of users and industries.

Overall, FeliCa is a well-established and widely adopted contactless smart card technology, particularly in Japan and other parts of East Asia. Its speed, security, and versatility make it suitable for a wide range of applications beyond just payment systems.

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