ISO 15693 / NFC Type 5 Readers and tags?

So after I got my LibNFC compatible readers I have been playing around with both a DESFire EV1 card and my xDF2 implants and I got some sense out of them. Still need some time to fully grasp how the authentication and application structure works so I called it a day with them.

I then began to wonder if I could get a read of my xSLX implant, but if I understand it correctly LibNFC has no support for ISO 15693 / NFC Type 5?

So I began looking for alternatives and so far I have found 3-4 options.
My first thought was the Proxmark3, but after some research I’m not sure it has any support for ISO 15693 / NFC Type 5 either, is that really so?

I found the hydraNFC shield with are supposed to work with ISO 15693, is that a option?

I also found a github repo with support for a PN5180 board:

If I understand it correctly that boards chipset is one of the more powerful reader IC out there, or I’m I wrong?
I found some boards with the PN5180 which look like the board used in the repo, but they all seem to be from questionable sources.
Found a dev board from NXP too with use the PN5180, is that a option?

And finally I like to also consider making my own board, but unsure about the complexity of the PN5180 chip.
Since messing around with my DESFire’s I have also realized the problem with all the hush hush and NDA’s around NXP’s chips, so I’m unsure if its possible at all without insider knowledge to use the PN5180 chip.


I got my NTAG 5 interface chips and they are also ISO 15693 or Type 5 chips if I got it correctly, the plan was to prototype my own MCU + NFC combo boards/“things”, but then I need to be able to program and communicate with them with a reader and not just a phone, hmm.

Like I said, just got the LibNFC readers so I don’t have much experience yet with programming different NFC chips with different readers and software so please forgive me if I I’m missing stuff about how it works.

What is the question?

Are there any ISO 15693 Readers with a library, programing interface or something else reasonable easy to hack into to communicate with ISO 15693 chips like the one in xSLX, NTAG 5’s or any other ISO 15693 / Type 5 chips?

My Elatec Multitech TWN4 reads ISO15693 tags. It can be configured as a regular PC/SC reader, USB CDC (serial) or keyboard wedge. But you won’t like its price. Not sure it’ll read the xSLX though - i.e. I don’t know if it’s any good at reading glass implant ISO15693 transponders, only that it reads full-size cards.

As for obtaining ISO15693 tags on the cheap, if you live near a ski resort, just do some dumpster diving near the parking lot at the end of the day :slight_smile:

You could use this one:

X-NUCLEO-NFC03A1 STMicroelectronics | Mouser

here is the data sheet:
x-nucleo-nfc03a1-1848875.pdf (314.8 KB)

here are the official software and libraries for it:
CR95HF - 13.56-MHz multi-protocol contactless transceiver IC with SPI and UART serial access - STMicroelectronics

here’re the example for ISO15693: (5.2 MB)
This is made for a STM32 MCU, but could be easily modified for any other.

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The T4DO-F-PI looks interesting, where can it be ordered?

@Rosco never mind, I found it and the price tag is pretty ugly.

Ah thanks, this seems very much like what I’m searching for, already have a NUCLEO that I can interface this board with. Had some plans to prototype implants with ST’s NFC interface chip (They are also ISO 15693), but I thought NXP was a wiser choice, but still have some ST chips (MCU, NFC) so this seems like a good alternative.

Let us know what you find out. I’m interested in ST’s NFC offerings but haven’t gotten around to ordering anything. I’ve been testing out the PN7462 reader IC from NXP for a couple projects and Devilclarke has just designed a cheaper dev board for it to maybe use in the open source deadbolt lock.

You’re not restricted to ST-NFC chips as long as they’re going by the protocol you’ll should be fine.

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This is also a very interesting controller if the development board would be not so far out of my budget. What is the dev board from Devilsclarke you’re talking about, where can I get some information about it?

It’s shipping right now. I’m sure he’ll post about it when it’s all set up and tested

My first idea was to use a nRF52840 from NORDIC to be able to have Bluetooth and than decided to go with the ESP32 because can choose between Bluetooth and wireless ethernet. It’s probably a good idea to have some kind of wireless communication to the reader/writer.

Will I :thinking: yeah your probably right :stuck_out_tongue:

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