NXP LPC8N04 Dev Board with Integrated NFC - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: NXP LPC8N04 Dev Board with Integrated NFC

Author: fyaocn

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: NA. Power harvesting SoC chip is only available on LPC8N04.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: SDK is not available from official website. It is directly supported by Keil. Only user manual and no SDK API is opened for now. It is reasonable for one new products. hopefully, it would be improved later.

Detailed Review:

1. Brief Introduction

The LPC8N04 Development Board board includes LPC8N04 Arm Cortex-M0+ MCU running at up to 8MHz ,  Integrated NFC antenna ,  Dual coin cell battery holders for , On-board CMSIS-DAP (debug probe) with VCOM port,1x  User button , 1x Reset button, Surface mounted speaker with amplifier and  5x7 LED array for user applications

LPC8N04 features  ISO/IEC 14443 A 1-3 compatible  and MIFARE (Ultralight) compatible,in same bandwidth of 13.56MHz.

- Nother feature is that user can be access the Flash address that shared with 4K bit of the chip. Fom APB side 0x4005 8100 to 0x4005 82FC,from RFside  0x04 to 0x83。

- Internal 50 pF capacitor , compatible for standard NFC antenna.

- RFID clock on 6.78MHz from RF signal which is independent of master clock of chip LPC8N04.

Here is the memory map,


2. Unboxing

2.1 the complete development kit


Close look on both sides of the board,



The board can be detachable with multiple power source, USB, battery from master part or battery from detached daughter board, or wireless power delivery from NFC mobille.




2.2 SWD/Speaker/LED selection jumpers shall be selected before running


search for NXP LPC8N04 NFC Demo in google play,

enable the  NFC board with mobile approximated with APP running in Read/ Write


press write then the text shall  be displayed in the LED array





2.3 Video,of Plugin and power on, one column of LED flash in turns before NFC is wake up.


3 The NFC protocol

3.1 The MCU block diagram shows the configuration of the LPC8N04


3.2 The NFC runs in one of the three mode,



In the factory demo program , Read/Write mode is used.

3.3 The best application for LPC8N04 is the energy harvest mode as follows,


In this mode, the LPC8N04 can retrieve power from mobile with data acquisition and power extraction.

This mode is the main part of this roadtest, I would use this mode to drive e-paper panel or LEDs without classic power supply like battery or USB.

System clock SFRO is 8MHz and can be reduced to 62.5kHz. Default 500kHz after reset in order or power-saving mode.

There are two power source for LPC8N04, internal and outer source selected by PSWBAT pin, as follows

- When outer source VBAT is greater than 1.72V, VBAT and VNFC is active at same time, VBAT is first choice;

- When VBAT is less than 1.72V,and VNFC is greater than 1.72V,VNFC is active;

- VNFC and VBAT can switch over quickly, if another source lost power. if larger load is used , one 100nF shall be paralleled in order for voltage stable.


3.4 Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that enables smartphones, and many other devices, to establish radio communication by bringing them into close proximity. Typically NFC has a range of 10 cm (3.9 in) or less. The RFID/NFC interface allows communication using 13.56 MHz proximity signaling. It is based on the MIFARE Ultralight EV1 PICC. The RFID interface works internally at 6.78 MHz.


3.5 Equivalent circuit of the NTAG IC


with coil design such as,


in this development board, class 6 coil is used as,



4. Development Tools

4.1 kEIL can be used with demo file as follows


4.2 Another tools is FlashMagic, it can be installed with hex file flash


5. Next Roadtest shall be one project display text with energy harvest feature for LCD panel in SPI

To be continue for this simple project

  • Is it possible that we connect this board to an e-paper display with no battery?

  • Where is part 2 of this road test? I'm looking for the same solution with an e-paper display with NFC energy harvesting.

  • Maybe you were confused because the software available today isnt in the mcuxpresso.sdk.com site yet ... current software isnt based on MCUXpresso SDK, but that is coming in November/December ... we'll update the website once its released.

  • Great.

    Maybe I have got wrong version of documents, with only simplified introduction to NFC.

    The user Manual shall be updated, at least for reference. Another source is in SDK downloaded from SDK builder, it would be better if such demo be included.

    I am excited with those new design by NXP. BTW, I think LPC54114 and LPC8N04 both are breaking in tech, balance performance and power management.

  • An API is available - full source for the demo code and Android application:


    Its under the board page (URL on the box), and under the software and tools tab.


    We'd really like to understand where you looked for the code, as the user manual for the board and the online getting started guides both mention this, yet you and other reviewers cant seem to find it. Any feedback very welcome, as we really want to fix this issue!

  • It takes really long time for me to verify my idea about NFC reader. But all the documents returns with no clue on how to run as reader, no API is disclosed.

    But you are not wrong, this chip can work as Reader. If you look through the protocol, at least the peer to peer mode support the the reader function.

    It need more fundamental understanding to register and operation mechanism.  I am on it.

    As reader and tag, the difference is the reader can initiate the transmission with one signal. To the LPC8N04, writing to the said register and flush the data in buff according to protocol can send RF reader command with RF pins. It would take efforts for block the function in chip design. I understand this as undisclosed function worth further research.

  • Your comment about the NFC modes in 3.2 got me excited. Id assumed this could only operate as the tag side of the NFC communication. The datasheets and specs are strangely vague about this. I thought maybe you'd discovered that this chip can act as an NFC reader. image


    Unfortunately after a bit more digging it turns out that it can only act as the passive side - i.e. it's an intelligent NFC tag that can communicate with the side that's providing the power. Put the LPC8N04 and an NFC tag together and nothing will happen as nobody starts a conversation.


    If I'm wrong about this then I'd be really glad to be corrected. I'd love to find a nice simple single IC solution for an NFC reader.