NFC Signaling Technologies

Within near field communication technology exists four different types of tags, three different signaling technologies, and four modes of operation that certain NFC compatible devices can undertake. Here we take a look at the three NFC signaling technologies. Check out our other technology pages to learn more about tag types and modes of operation.

NFC Signaling Technologies

Three signaling technologies exist for NFC devices to talk to each other. The modes of operation are outlined below with a description of each. When a reader and a tag make contact, they first communicate what technology they can understand and transmit data in compliance with the specified protocol.


NFC-A corresponds with RFID Type A communication. In Type A communication, Miller encoding, also known as delay encoding, is used with amplitude modulation at 100 percent. Using this set-up, a signal sent between devices must change from 0 to 100 percent to register the difference between sending a “1” and a “0.” Data is transmitted at 106 Kbps when using Type A communication.  


Similar to NFC-A, NFC-B corresponds with RFID Type B communication. Instead of Miller encoding, Type B uses Manchester encoding. Amplitude modulation is at 10 percent, meaning a 10 percent change from 90% for low to 100% for high is used. A change from low to high represents a “0” while high to low represents a “1.”


NFC-F refers to a faster form of RFID transmission known as FeliCa. Commly found in Japan, FeliCa is a technology similar to NFC but faster and currently more popular. It is used for a variety of services such as subway tickets, credit card payments, and identification at office buildings and other locations with limited access.

Offering different signaling technologies ensures the various types of near field communication technology can communicate with one another. Easy access is the key to NFC and is one of its primary benefits.

Near Field Communication: A Technology Primer