Greater security and backwards compatibility are two of the features of NXP’s new MIFARE Plus contactless smart card IC, designed for automated fare collection and the access control markets. One of the chip’s advantages is that after upgrading the system infrastructure, service operators will be able to easily switch MIFARE Plus-powered cards in the field to a higher security level without revoking or reissuing the existing cards.
Eindhoven, Netherlands – NXP Semiconductors, the independent company founded by Philips, has announced MIFARE Plus, a contactless smart card IC that offers security and performance for the cost-sensitive automated fare collection (AFC) and access control markets. MIFARE Plus is the latest addition to NXP’s MIFARE portfolio, features multiple levels of security, including Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, and an easy migration path from existing MIFARE Classic implementations. NXP’s MIFARE family of chips is the leading technology in the market for contactless smart card ICs and is used in major national and regional transport networks worldwide.
“For both transport operators and passengers, MIFARE Plus offers unprecedented levels of security, privacy, compatibility and performance for entry-level smart cards, and is ideal for ticketing systems,” said Henri Ardevol, general manager, automatic fare collection, NXP Semiconductors. “The IC has been designed from the ground up to address the security and privacy needs of the 21st century and thus complements well our current MIFARE portfolio. With MIFARE Plus, consumers can rest assured that their individual information cannot be tracked by others. For system integrators, MIFARE Plus offers outstanding flexibility, supporting multiple levels of security for an easy upgrade path from existing MIFARE Classic installations.”
The backwards compatibility of MIFARE Plus allows for a seamless introduction of cards in existing MIFARE Classic implementations. After upgrading the system infrastructure, service operators can easily switch MIFARE Plus-powered cards in the field to a higher security level without the need to revoke or re-issue the cards.
Security is at the heart of MIFARE Plus, which is the only smart card IC of its class to offer strong AES encryption for authentication, integrity and confidentiality, based on a 128-bit key length. MIFARE Plus chips comprise a number of additional security features which, when used optimally in the infrastructure, provide for a system that prevents individuals from being identified and tracked by others. These features are enabled through the support of secure Random Identifiers (RIDs) next to 7 Byte Unique Identifiers (UIDs). MIFARE Plus also offers an originality function, which improves verification of cards and enables active measures against emulators.
NXP Semiconductors will seek formal Common Criteria EAL 4+ Certification by the German Federal Office of Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik) for MIFARE Plus, to ensure that it conforms to one of the highest internationally recognized evaluation assurance levels. MIFARE Plus will be available for pilots in Q4 2008.