ABOUT MICROPROSS NOW NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
Established in 1979, Micropross now NI (NI) is a leading supplier of test and personalization solutions for near field communication (NFC), e-payment, and wireless charging. The company is driven by a spirit of innovation and dedication to customer care.
In 2015, NI acquired Micropross to accelerate its development and strengthen its place as a leader in its market, constituting a major milestone for both companies. Micropross is adopting the NI brand going forward. Our commitment to our customers and partners remain our highest priority. By integrating further into NI, we believe that we are providing our customers with the best in class user experience, such as the use of NI’s logistic centers, or the leverage of a global sales force and support structure. The migration to the NI brand reflects this integration.
NI through its acquisition of Micropross has proven expertise in the design of R&D and manufacturing test tools, which are all considered as references in their domains. With these tools, users can fully characterize and test the electrical and protocol performance of products such as smart cards and smartphones in design, conformance, and production.
Thanks to the company’s extensive product range, users can efficiently test and personalize chips compliant with the latest technologies (contact and contactless). On a perpetual quest for customer satisfaction, NI offers many services that range from personalized training to custom design (software and/or hardware).
Quality is part of the NI culture. Working with the biggest players in the market requires the company to maintain high standards for quality management. Every product is thoroughly checked during each stage from design to production. Each department within the company has its own procedures, instructions, and performance indicators.
From the beginning of its existence, NI through its acquisition of Micropross has been engaged in long-term projects that require durability. For example, the first PRECIS was delivered in 1986, and this in-situ programmer has been widely used in the maintenance program of TGV and Airbus. Airplanes and trains are expected to be exploited for decades. NI still offers maintenance for these products.
In the smart card place, the STAR range of products was first launched more than 10 years ago and is still working and maintained thanks to careful design, a strong effort of documentation, rigorous production, and a farsighted supply chain.
In addition to being one of the most reliable and famous supplier of test equipment, NI behaves as a citizen of the industry, and tries to give something back to the technical community by participating to the different standardization committees that shape up our business.
Those committees are held several times a year, and gather all members of the industry, to establish the different specifications and test methods around our technology.
Through written and spoken contributions, NI engineers are particularly appreciated for the quality of their analysis and their down to earth answers to the different concerns that may arise.
NI prepares the future by participating to the following working groups :
- ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17/WG 4: this group defines contact smart cards, and their associated readers
- ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17/WG 8: definition of contactless smart cards, and their associated readers. Either under our own name, or in collaboration with giants of the smart card and semiconductor industry, we publishe on a regular basis contributions that help shape up the future of the test industry. Recent contributions include views on VHBR (Very High Bit Rate) transfert, or the design of new style of reference PICC.
- NFC Forum: the NFC Forum’s role, is to promote the usage of the NFC technology among the mass consumer market. It defines a framework to guarantee interoperability between NFC devices, but also with tags. It discusses the convergence with other standards (payments, contactless charging, …). NI contribution is so valuable that one of our experts has been elected at the position of chairman of the RF testing taskforce. Therefore leading the way to the definition of test methods for NFC devices, on an analog level. This is a huge honor, as this position was previously occupied by engineers from Motorola and Sony.
- EMVCo : the EMVCo standard’s goal, is to guarantee a certain level of interoperability between the different systems of payment (Visa, American Express, Mastercard, …). Our hardware are included into Level 1 validated solutions, on both contact and contactless technologies.
- Wireless Power Consortium : this organization, which defines the Qi standard,has several roles. One role is the overall promotion of the wireless power transmission technology among implementers and decision makers. A second role, is the definition and implementation of a framework aiming at enabling interoperability testing, and type approval of power transmitters and receivers. NI participates to the different expert meetings, and provides to the WPC a test system for both power transmitters and receivers.