Taking its cue from customers and a page out of the fashion magazines where “thin is always in,” Texas Instruments Inc. announced the availability of its ultra-thin module for contactless payment applications.
The new chips is 26% thinner than conventional packaged contactless chip offerings. The new module enables card manufacturers to produce an increasing array of colorful and distinctive products with higher yields as a result of causing fewer visual imperfections than thicker chip modules.
Banks are trying to offer new graphics-rich contactless cards to differentiate their brand and stay top of wallet with consumers. Over the next few years, banks will issue more than 50 million opaque contactless cards annually with the expectation that number will double in 2010, according to ABI Research.
If banks use the new TI ultra-thin module, the company feels that card manufacturers can create thinner PVC pre-laminate sheets for the contactless layer. The 280um (11mil) ultra-thin module enables the creation of pre-laminates as thin as 345um (13.6 mil). This allows the card manufacturers to print the card’s colorful artwork on thicker print stock while maintaining the 680-840um (26.8-33.1 mil) ISO standard for card thickness. Thicker print stock makes these complex cards more durable and able to survive multiple passes through a printing press during standard card manufacturing processes, translating to higher yields of finished cards.
The ultra-thin module packaging will be available in MasterCard PayPass and other contactless payment products. For more information on TI’s ultra-thin module and its contactless payment technology and applications, TI will be available to meet at CTST 2008, May 12-15, in Orlando, Florida or visit http://www.ti.com/ultra-thin.