Feeds

Oracle tests find NFC lags in execution

Just wait a sec, or two

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.