NXP Launches World’s Smallest Combo Chip for Automotive Keyless Entry Systems

Compact package allows maximum freedom for fashionable and distinctive key fob designs; radio transmitter with agile carrier combats RF jamming


Eindhoven, Netherlands and London, September 26, 2012 — NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced the NCF2960 – the world’s smallest combo chip solution for automotive keyless entry with immobilizer functions. The compact solution uniquely integrates a security transponder, micro RISC kernel, and multi-channel radio transmitter in a single package. With this latest addition to its car access portfolio, NXP further enhances its position as the market-leading supplier of semiconductors for immobilizers and keyless entry systems.

The NCF2960 addresses the strong demand from car OEMs for fashionable and distinctive car key designs. The chip’s package size has been reduced by 44% compared to the previous generation. Available in a tiny 24-pin QFN package, it requires only 4-mm x 4-mm of board space, providing key fob manufacturers with maximum design freedom in selecting form factors and in placement of command buttons.

One of the chip’s key features is its RF multi-channel capability. Rather than transmitting its signal on one frequency only, the integrated transmitter enables the signal to be transmitted on multiple frequency channels. Frequency hopping maximizes the reliability of car keys in environments suffering from RF jamming. Contrary to conventional devices, NXP’s new NCF2960 also features stabilized output power in order to minimize the impact of varying battery voltage and temperatures.

The NCF2960 also enables cost savings due to a small PCB footprint, as well as optical inspection of solder connections rather than using complex x-ray processes. Optical inspection is made possible by the 24-pin QFN package with wettable flanks.

Supporting Quote

Drue Freeman, Vice President Global Automotive Sales & Marketing at NXP Semiconductors: “A key fob is the first thing a user touches before he or she gets into the car. For car OEMs, key fobs are a way of enhancing the driving experience, improving their brand image, and differentiating themselves from competitors. As the market leader in car access, NXP is launching its second-generation single-chip combo solution, the NCF2960, integrating immobilization, remote keyless entry (RKE) and an RF transmitter. A key aspect in the product design phase was to provide new valuable features – such as stabilized RF output power, frequency hopping and a variety of encryption options – in the smallest possible package, without any compromises on performance.”

Key Features


Engineering samples of NCF2960 are available.