As a part of its 'IT839' strategy, the Ministry of Information and Communication plans to develop a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader chip to be installed in mobile phones by the end of this year.

The RFID reader chip development project will be participated by the Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI), Samsung Electronics and Magna Chip Semiconductor. The ETRI and semiconductor manufacturers will develop RFID reader chip to be optimized for spectrums between 908.5MHz and 914MHz allocated by Korea for RFID service, based on GEN2 standard.

They will first develop 2 chips, an analog and a digital chip, by the end of this year, and then integrate them into a single chip solution later. In this project, Samsung Electronics will develop and produce the chip by itself, while the ETRI will transfer related technologies to Magna Chip Semiconductor for commercialization when it develops such technologies.

The MIC intends to install the reader chip in mobile phones to be used for pilot RFID service set to be launched in the latter part of next year.

"Mobile phone-based RFID service is the first business model developed in Korea. If we successfully develop core technologies, we will be able to expand RFID business to world market," said Lee Yun-deok, manager of telematics and RFID program at the MIC.