ACR122U NFC Card Reader writer



The ACR122U NFC Reader is a PC-linked contactless smart card reader/writer developed based on 13.56 MHz Contactless (RFID) Technology. Compliant with the ISO/IEC18092 standard for Near Field Communication (NFC), it supports not only MIFARE® and ISO 14443 A and B cards, but also all four types of NFC tags.

ACR122U is compliant with both CCID and PC/SC. Thus, it is a plug-and-play USB device allowing interoperability with different devices and applications. With an access speed of up to 424 kbps and a full USB speed of up to 12 Mbps, ACR122U can also read and write more quickly and efficiently. The proximity operating distance of ACR122U is up to 5 cm, depending on the type of contactless tag in use.

In order to increase the security level, ACR122U can be integrated with an ISO 7816-3 SAM slot. Furthermore, the ACR122U NFC Reader is available in module form, permitting easy integration into bigger machines, such as POS terminals, physical access systems and vending machines.

The ACR122U NFC Reader is ideal for both secure personal identity verification and online micro-payment transactions. Other applications of the ACR122U include access control, e-payment, e-ticketing for events and mass transit, toll road fare collection and network authentication.

The ACR122U comes with an optional stand to hold the smart card reader at an optimal angle, so that users can tap contactless cards or NFC-enabled devices onto the ACR122U with ease. For more information, click here to download the brochure of this special accessory.


  • USB 2.0 Full Speed Interface
  • CCID Compliance
  • Smart Card Reader:
    • Read/write speed up to 424 kbps
    • Built-in antenna for contactless tag access, with card reading distance of up to 50 mm (depending on tag type)
    • Supports ISO 14443 Type A and B cards, MIFARE, FeliCa, and all 4 types of NFC (ISO/IEC 18092) tags
    • Built-in anti-collision feature (only 1 tag is accessed at any time)
  • Application Programming Interface:
    • Supports PC/SC
    • Supports CT-API (through wrapper on top of PC/SC)
  • Peripherals:
    • User-controllable bi-color LED
    • User-controllable buzzer
  • Supports Android™ OS 3.1 and above





Dimensions 98.0 mm (L) x 65.0 mm (W) x 12.8 mm (H)
Weight 70.0 g
Compliance / Certifications
  • ISO 18092, ISO 14443, PC/SC, CCID, EN60950/ISO 60950, CE, FCC, MIC, KC, VCCI,  RoHS 2,  USB Full Speed, Microsoft® WHQL
Interface USB Full Speed
Operating Distance Up to 50 mm (depends on the tag type)
Supply Voltage Regulated 5V DC
Supply Current 200mA (operating); 50mA (standby); 100mA (normal)
Operating Temperature 0-60 °C
Operating Frequency 13.56 MHz
Smart Card Interface Support
  • ISO14443 Type A & B
  • FeliCa 
  • 4 types of NFC (ISO/IEC18092) tags
Operating System Support
  • Windows®
  • Win CE 5.0 and 6.0
  • Linux®
  • Mac OS®
  • Android™ 3.1 and above





Difference between ISO 14443 and ISO 18092, i.e. RFID vs NFC

ISO 18092 (NFC) introduces Peer-to-Peer communication mode for arbitrary binary data exchanges. This mode is missing in ISO 14443 (Contactless Card)

More details:
ISO/IEC 18092 (NFCIP-1 Near Field Communication - Interface and Protocol Specification), is based on ISO/IEC 14443 but has a critical difference. It utilizes different command protocol to replace Part 4 of ISO/IEC 14443. It also includes two communication modes, active and passive, which allow an NFC device to communicate with other NFC devices in a peer-to-peer mode as well as with ISO/IEC 18092 based NFC tags (cards).

Within the two modes of communication there are three modes of operation defined in ISO/IEC 18092:

Read/Write: In this mode, the NFC enabled phone can read or write data to any of the supported tag types in a standard NFC data format
Peer-to-Peer: Two NFC-enabled devices can exchange data over some sort of custom binary protocol
Card-Emulation: While NFC-enabled phones can act as a reader when in contact with tags, in this mode, the phone can also act as a tag (contactless card) for other readers (POS terminals)
Specifically, the NFC Forum states that in card emulation mode, NFC-enabled phones can support the contactless card EMV payment application requirements specified in EMV CCPS v2.0 and embodied by American Express ExpressPay 2.0, MasterCard PayPass 2.0 and Visa payWave 2.1.1.

Therefore, if the NFC device operates under the specifications of ISO/IEC 18092 in card emulation mode, it should be interoperable with a reader/writer (POS terminal) that operates under the specifications of ISO/IEC 14443.

However, ISO/IEC 18092 also defines a peer-to-peer mode where two devices can exchange data (i.e. a card acting as a reader). There is no such current equivalent defined in ISO/ IEC 14443 and therefore these NFC devices would not be interoperable with devices operating under ISO/IEC 14443.

So, if you plan to operate in Peer-to-Peer mode, for example, implementing your very own custom binary data exchange protocol over NFC, you may need to use ISO 18092 compliant device / chipset



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