The car key has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Those familiar with vintage slapstick comedy will recall
that early cars did not have ignition keys, but crank handles that could often cause broken wrists!
It was not until 1916 that car manufacturers began to utilize
the key, instantly making cars safer and easier to start. The first remote keyless entry solutions – fobs to
lock or unlock the car doors by simply pressing a button – appeared in the early 80s. In the early 90s, the
electronic immobilizer was finally invented.
Recent requests from car manufacturers in the past decade ask for new inventions: smaller, feature-packed and
stylish! Aside from the usual opening and locking functions, key fobs are now expected to provide keyless
ignition, panic buttons and check fuel levels, along with a whole host of other attributes.
Today, NXP has announced the next step
in this evolution; the world’s smallest combo chip solution for automotive keyless entry with immobilizer
functions. NXP has reduced the size of previous generations by a massive 44%, demanding only 4-mm x 4-mm of board
space and providing key manufactures with maximum design freedom for distinctive design.
In keeping with NXP’s position as a market leader and innovator in this field, the diminutive chip solution is
packed with features, such as stabilized FR output power, frequency hopping and AES encryption. Without compromising
on performance, the integrated solution maximizes the reliability of car keys in environments suffering from RF
jamming and solves the problem of instable output power that suffered by conventional devices.
Thanks to NXP, the global number one supplier of immobilizer and keyless entry semiconductors, the evolution of the
car key continues. Who knows what the next ten years might hold!