CAMAS, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 19, 2003–Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas announces today the release of a secure contactless microcontroller specifically designed for e-passport and identity applications. Sharp developed this contactless microcontroller to support the increased demand for e-passport and identity programs being pursued by many countries worldwide. Based on an advanced 0.18 um 5 Metal Flash memory embedded process, the 16-bit microcontroller, product number: SM4128, is available in two versions, offering a total non-volatile memory of 1 MB or 512 KB to be used by the card’s operating systems, applications and data.
According to industry analysts, the use of multiple application smart cards for e-passports is expected to increase substantially, along with growth of single-application traditional card programs such as those used for transportation and credit cards. Sharp previously developed a multi-application Smart Card with the highest density built-in memory in the industry, at 1 MB of flash memory. This process migration continues to demonstrate that Sharp is a market leader in high-density memory technology for Smart Cards.
The chip is designed to meet high security standards and is expected to be fully compliant with Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification requirements in 2004. It comes equipped with an extended ISO 7816-4 command set, satisfying both the ICAO e-passport recommendations and the GSC-IS 2.1 US Government Smart Card specifications. The high-speed contactless interface sustains a low-error data rate of 424 KB using the ISO 1443 type B standard, making it perfectly suited for the large (20KB+) transactions required by e-passport and identity applications.
“This new product was specifically designed to address the requirements of the e-passport and identity markets, and provides efficient, robust and time-proof solutions to meet the market needs now and in the future,” said Robert Stuart, Product Manager at Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas.
Main characteristics include:
– 0.18 um embedded Flash process technology;
– High security 5 metal layer design and CC EAL 4+ requirements to be met;
– ICAO/GSC-IS compliant command set and data structures;
– Low noise and low power consumption with low voltage.