Royal Philips Electronics announced that the U.S. Department of Interior (DoI) will begin full-scale deployment in December of a physical access system using Philips’ MIFARE DESFire contactless chip technology complying with Government Smart Card-Interoperability Specification (GSC-IS). The DoI will be issuing the GSC-IS V2.1-compliant smart cards to its employees, thus heightening secure access to its facilities across the nation. Philips is currently the first company to offer a contactless chip solution that meets the U.S. government’s GSC-IS mandate, which NASA is also using to ensure enhanced secure access to its facilities.
Last year, approximately 3,000 MIFARE DESFire-based cards were implemented within the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which manages all U.S. DoI facilities and properties. By the end of 2004, the entire U.S. DoI will have issued about 20,000 to 30,000 GSC-IS-compliant contactless smart cards based on Philips’ secure contactless chip solution for physical access. By late 2005, the DoI expects to issue 70,000 units for all its employees, encompassing up to 20 different locations and including “first responders” such as affiliated firefighters, police and emergency personnel.
“Contactless smart card technology is a logical next step for secure access within government facilities,” said Bob Donelson, smart card program manager for the DoI. “With Philips’ leading-edge smart card technology, the U.S. Department of Interior is able to provide our employees with an easy-to-use interface while maintaining the highest levels of security.”
Donelson is one of the key proponents driving the U.S. government toward using smart card solutions standardized on GSC-IS to ensure a secure and interoperable method of access control and identification. By requiring the storage and contactless retrieval of basic employee information per the GSC-IS guidelines, a U.S. DoI employee could also gain access to other departments’ facilities with this smart card. Donelson, also the chairman of the Interoperability Advisory Board, is working with other agencies, including NASA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Veterans Administration through the U.S. General Services Administration, to procure larger volumes of cards meeting GSC-IS V2.2. Total volumes of compliant cards ordered on this consolidated purchase are expected to exceed 20 million units over the next few years.
“Selection by the U.S. Department of Interior, which closely follows the selection by NASA to use Philips’ technology, confirms our leadership in the contactless smart card market,” said Jan-Willem Reynaerts, general manager for market sector Transport and Logistics at Philips Semiconductors. “Philips plans to further its relationship with the U.S. government to address its security needs across departments.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has also selected Philips’ advanced GSC-IS compliant MIFARE DESFire contactless chip technology to enable secure smart card access to its facilities. Compliant with the United States government’s Government Smart Card – Interoperability Specification, the Philips chip technology is currently being incorporated into smart cards deployed to agency employees and contractors for immediate identity authentication.
About Philips’ MIFARE DESFire
Philips’ MIFARE DESFire provides a convenient, multi-functional smart card silicon solution ideal for mobility, identity and e-government schemes. The chip’s core characteristics – Fast, Innovative, Reliable and sEcure, as described by the ‘Fire’ part of its name – are supported by a unique combination of flexible memory organization structure alongside impressive high data transaction rates, making it ideal for secure contactless services.