NXP Semiconductors announced its secure contactless smart card chip technology will power Singapore’s biometric passports, which were fully implemented in August, 2006. This marks the 30th government using NXP smart chip technology to power their ePassport programs, and the company’s chips now power more than 80 percent of the world’s smart passports.
Company’s chips now power more than 80 percent of the world’s smart passports
NXP Semiconductors, the newly independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, announced that Singapore’s biometric passports, fully implemented in August 2006, utilizes its industry-leading secure contactless smart card chip technology. The new passports have been issued to comply with the recommendations and requirements laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The Common Criteria EAL5+ security certified NXP SmartMX chip technology embedded in the new Singaporean passports is secured by highly advanced encryption hardware – and physical hacking counter measures – to meet the sophisticated demands of security-sensitive markets such as eGovernment and banking. It will be used to protect and store unique biometric information, reducing the fraud and forgery of travel documents and enhancing security for travelers. The chips for this implementation will be manufactured by Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC), a Singapore-based producer of advanced semiconductor wafers.
“Interoperability and security of electronic travel documents are must-haves for governments. Any e-passport project must deliver both, as these are crucial to ensuring public acceptance of this new means of secure identification. The use of NXP’s secure technology for Singapore’s e-passports is a rousing testimony that we can deliver both,” said Christophe Duverne, vice president and general manager for Identification, NXP Semiconductors. “Technology should simplify consumer’s lives, and e-passports are a good example of how that can be achieved. They enable greater levels of security than offered by current passports and, boost traveler safety; e-passports also allow governments to better protect their borders.”
NXP’s technology is the industry’s leading choice for secure e-passports with more than 80 percent of all smart passport implementations globally; it encompasses currently 30 governments, including US, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, France and Singapore. NXP has been instrumental in developing passport chip solutions to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards, designed around current and future security needs for travelers and governments.
About the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
The US Department of Homeland Security announced that as of October 26, 2006, all persons traveling under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must present a machine-readable passport (MRP) when visiting the US for less than 90 days without a visa.
VWP countries include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.
About NXP SmartMX passport chips
NXP’s SmartMX passport chips have received the highest level of security certification awarded to secure contactless smart card solutions available – the Common Criteria EAL5+ certification by the German Federal Office of Information Security. It fully supports and even exceeds the specifications for smart passports set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The high-performance chip features NXP’s unique ultra low power handshaking technology, enabling an exceptional operating range by fully meeting the ISO/IEC14443 standard power range requirements. The experience of over 700 million contactless NXP modules in the market is the basis for the expertise on contactless IC applications.
The 72Kbyte EEPROM memory, high-security chip is specifically designed to fulfill the needs of eGovernment projects, with its high memory capacity capable of storing biometric information such as fingerprints and facial images. Additionally, the IC is highly reliable, with a data retention time of 20 years that doubles the industry standard.
About NXP Semiconductors
NXP is a top 10 semiconductor company founded by Philips more than 50 years ago. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company has 37,000 employees working in 20 countries across the world. NXP creates semiconductors, system solutions and software that deliver better sensory experiences in mobile phones, personal media players, TVs, set-top boxes, identification applications, cars and a wide range of other electronic devices. News from NXP is located at www.nxp.com.