Texas Instruments has unveiled its new secure multi-purpose contactless chip designed for the growing closed-loop contactless micropayment, loyalty, ID and access application markets.
A number of closed-loop applications, particularly in Asia and in Central and South America, are seeking the speed, convenience and security of the ISO/IEC 14443 standards-based contactless technology that TI’s new chip provides, says the company. These applications, which include private label payment and loyalty/membership programs, closed-loop micropayments, secure ID and corporate access control, can be implemented individually or in combination on the same card or token.
TI’s secure contactless chip incorporates a number of security features to provide data privacy in sensitive applications and to protect against cloning and replay attacks. Dynamic encryption is achieved using NIST-approved Triple DES and SHA-1 crypto-algorithms as well as an ANSI X9.63 based session key security. A 128-bit unique session key is generated for each transaction, and the communication between the tag and reader can be encrypted to provide a high-level of confidentiality. The TI product also allows the tag and reader to mutually authenticate each other during every communication session, thus only a trusted tag and reader are authorized to complete a transaction.
“Our new contactless chip and module deliver the high-security, ease of implementation and fast and reliable processing capabilities that companies deploying a host of closed-loop applications want in a secure proximity contactless solution,” said VC Kumar, manager of secure electronic ID, Texas Instruments RFID Systems.
In addition to its secure contactless chip and module, TI is also offering its TRF796x ISO/IEC 14443 reader IC to enable customers to develop and implement a complete contactless tag and reader solution. One such customer is China-based systems integrator Lierda, which is equipping household electric, gas and water meters in China with TI’s TRF796x reader module and MSP430 microcontroller to enable contactless pre-payment of utilities. In the electronic metering application, residents purchase contactless cards from a kiosk that contain TI’s secure multi-purpose contactless chip module stored with a pre-paid yuan amount. The cards are waved in front of the meters to activate them, and the amount chosen by the customer is debited from the card.
“Many homes have separate meters for their utilities that must be pre-paid so it’s difficult to keep track of them,” said Liang Yuan, Lierda’s chief technology officer. “Using TI’s secure contactless chip and reader technology we can offer our utility company customers a fast and convenient way for their customers to pay, while ensuring continuous service.”
TI’s secure multi-purpose contactless chip and module include a highly sensitive radio frequency front end to enable a successful transaction each time with little consideration of the orientation of the card as the customer taps it to the reader. The chip and module support RF antennas as small as 38 x 28 mm, while providing superior read performance, allowing them to be packaged into a variety of form factors including keyfobs, tokens and ISO/IEC 7810 cards.