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Selecting correct RFID/NFC reader chip for both MIFARE DESFire and NFC (e.g. NTAG216)

Question asked by Sören Kornetzki on Sep 20, 2017

I am developing an identification solution that enables the owner to decide which medium he/she wants to use.


I want to offer at least the following medium:

  • NXP NTAG21x (NTAG213, NTAG215, NTAG216)

I have found some NFC reader chips that supports "MIFARE classic" but non that mention "DESFire".

On the DESFire site I did not find reader chips at all (only SAMs). I could only find transponder chips.


Is there a reader chip available that supports the following features:

  • Read out NXP NTAG21x (NTAG213, NTAG215, NTAG216).
  • Read out NXP MIFARE DESFire EV1 (NFC Forum Type 4 Tag App, see AN11004).
  • Communicate with NXP MIFARE DESFire EV1 ("normal" mode with encryption and authentication).
  • I2C host interface.
  • Optional: I2C multi-master capability or output for generating interrupt when transponder is present.
  • Optional: Transponder mode - emulate a simple NFC tag (like e.g. NTAG216).


If not, which DESFire reader chip is available? And how to decided which reader chip to use (I guess both reader chips will trigger an interrupt when detecting an generic transponder)?