Enabled by the latest Logical Data Structure specification from the International Civil Aviation Organization, e-passports are now capable of storing e-visa, entry/exit stamps and biometric data. This increases demands on the chip, ups the need for data storage from 50K to 1MB or more and begs for faster data transfer rates.
While most e-passport chips contain 200K or less of memory, the SLE78 security controller with Integrity Guard represents the highest memory density currently available at 700K. Infineon’s chip includes 200K of space for program code and adds up to 500K of flash-based memory for variable data such as personal and biometric data, e-visas, hundreds of electronic entry and exit stamps and even loyalty points for frequent traveler programs.
A standard 30-page paper passport can hold about 150 stamps assuming physical space for about five per page. Assuming that each e-visa or entry/exit stamp requires three kilobytes of memory, the SLE78 with 500K provides rewritable memory space corresponding to the 30-page passports in use today.
For a passport containing the maximum number of electronic visas and stamps, the full 500K of data would need to be processed at the electronic gate. Most of today’s e-passport chips have transfer rates of 848-bits per second, which translates to a transaction time of approximately eight seconds. Infineon’s SLE78 has a data rate of 6.8-megabits per second, so just three seconds is needed to process the same volume of data.
Today, the passports in general use still contain only personal data and a biometric photo. At the gate, the new SLE78 can process this volume of data in less than one second.