Any question of the surge in contactless technology interest was answered by the activity at the CARTES exposition in France in early November. More than 10,000 attendees from around the globe descended on Paris’ Parc de Exposition to see the latest in identification technologies. The exhibit floor was packed with more than 300 vendors displaying chip cards, RFID products, card printers, and software. The well-rounded conference agenda was heavily laden with contactless technology including a full day seminar on Contactless Technologies and another full day on the implementation of RFID in Transportation. The following projects, products, and announcements were among the many exciting RFID highlights at the show.
ASK reaches major milestones in Lisbon and Capri
ASK announced the availability of its GTML2 dual interface product. The card’s contactless component complies with the ISO 14443 Type B standard. Already more than onehalf million of the GTML2 cards are in operation in Lisbon, Portugal’s transit system. In Italy, the popular tourist destination of Capri is also using ASK technology for fare collection in its mass transit system. ASCOM Monetel serves as system integrator for the project known as UnicoCapri. Residents use the GTML dual interface card while visitors use ASK’s disposable paper-based Cticket. More than 2.5 million of these innovative paper contactless tickets have shipped to Capri.
Where there’s smoke there’s DESFire
Philips generated considerable industry buzz with its announcement of its new DESFire product. The new chip line is an expansion to the company’s mifare® line of ISO 14443 Type A products and is completely compatible with previous mifare® products. DESFire expands upon the security and capability of traditional mifare®. It has 4Kbyte of memory, a triple-DES data encryption co-processor, a true random number generator, and a builtin anti-tear mechanism. According to Jason Hitipeuw, Marketing Manager Transport Business Line Chip Cards for Philips, “DESFire is a perfect fit for transit systems considering additional applications beyond basic fare collection. It is also an ideal product for corporate access control arenas and government identity cards. We view DESFire as the chip for those looking for both high security and the convenience of contactless transactions.” DESFire pricing is in line with other mifare® products falling in the US$0.60 – $0.80 per unit range. The product is being considered for major projects in Sydney, Seattle, and Holland.
And the winner is …
Each year the SESAMES Awards are presented to the leading ID technology solution and product providers. This year’s award for the most innovative development in smart card technology went to Infineon and Sony, marking the first time this award has gone for a contactless development. Infineon’s SC8888 is a single chip that operates as ISO 14443 A, ISO 14443 B, and Sony’s FeliCA. The chip also contains a cryptographic coprocessor to enable full RSA encryption capabilities. On the show floor, the company demonstrated the utilization of this card moving between mifare®, Type B, and FeliCA readers. The chip’s firewall protected areas make the addition and deletion of applications quick and secure.