NFC Forum Tag Types

The NFC Forum defines several categories of NFC chips in addition to the ISO standards called NFC Forum Tag Types. The purpose of defining these NFC tag types is to create some amount of standardization for the NFC chips for how they work and what features they implement. For almost all Connected Things projects, Type 2 or Type 5 is used. While most NFC enabled phones can read all NFC tag types, desktop NFC devices often only implement one standard so they do not support all NFC tag types. More moden NFC desktop devices such as the ACS ACR1552U which use modern NFC controllers to support both standards so they support all tag types.

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NFC Tag Types

The NFC Forum defines 5 types of NFC tags:

NFC Tag TypeStandardNotes
Type 1ISO 14443ANot commonly used (Topaz)
Type 2ISO 14443AVery popular (Ultralight, NTAGX, ST25TN)
Type 3ISO 14443ANot commonly used (Sony FeliCa)
Type 4ISO 14443A, ISO 14443BNot commonly used (DESFire)
Type 5ISO 15693Commonly used (SLI, SLIX, ST25TV)

Non NFC Forum NFC Chips

Not all HF RFID NFC chips are a part of the NFC Forum defined tag types. The most common is the MIFARE Classic series, which is a popular HF RFID chip. Many NFC phones will not work with this family of NFC chips as they support only NFC Forum tag types.