Feeds

Oracle tests find NFC lags in execution

Just wait a sec, or two

The Power of One Infographic

Oracle has been looking at NFC, and decided that the technology needs to be a good deal faster if it is going to have any hope of going mainstream.

In Oracle's tests it took two seconds to open and read the three files required by their proposed application. That time could be reduced by combining the data into a single file, but that presents problems if the data belongs to different people, and still produces an unacceptably long transaction time.

The tests, expounded by Oracle's retailing blog and picked up by NFC World, were a first look at potential problems. The tests quickly discovered that the transaction time that is so critical for customer acceptance is still the weakest point of the NFC ecosystem.

That's not because NFC is slow – the induction-powered radio communication is fast enough – the problem here is that the data must be stored in a secure element (often the phone's SIM), which is reliant on FLASH memory, an 8-bit processor, and an architecture built for reliability and security with little attention to speed.

London's Underground reckons that half a second is the absolute limit on transaction times for tap-and-go transactions, with 200 milliseconds being the target, but if Oracle's tests are anything to go by that's a far-off aspiration.

Oracle does suggest that storing a database key on the NFC tag might be quicker, shifting the responsibility for speed onto the back end database – an area in which Oracle will no doubt be able to help – but that would negate the enhanced security that NFC is supposed to offer, reducing it to a swipe-card replacement.

This speed issue becomes critical to the business model with a phone such as Google's Nexus S which supports two secure elements: one on the SIM and one embedded in the phone. Banks will have to decide if they wish to offer downloadable payment cards on the operator's SIM, or Google's phone, or both. The latter risks customer confusion, so the operators are confident the banks will come to them, but if Google's secure element (which is provided by NXP) can offer a faster tap time it might swing things in the search giant's favour. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.