Philips advances smart card security for mobile applications

Philips advances smart card security for mobile applications

New 32-bit smart card controller IC from Philips

Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today announced the launch of the industry’s first high-security 32-bit smart card controller chip, based on a standard core architecture, to offer more than 650 Kbyte of nonvolatile memory. This large memory size is needed for multi-application smart cards such as those used in 2.5 and 3G mobile telephony and e-government. In particular, this extra memory will enable end-users to securely and easily download new Java applets when cards are already in the field, allowing customers to enjoy a wide range of applications of their own choosing, while also enabling operators to remotely manage and update applications running on cards. As smart card technology continues to evolve, consumers are relying on smart cards to provide easy and secure access to personal services via their mobile devices as well as additional functions to be readily available. These new functions can range from mobile entertainment in the form of MP3 downloads, network gaming, and video streaming to financial applications that allow consumers to authorize trusted payments for ticketing, entertainment downloads and online trading via existing cellular phone networks. And all of these applications must be conducted in a secure manner with reliable authentication at every step in the process.

In response to this increasing need for more capability and high security in multi-application cards, Philips’ HiPerSmart* family provides a high-security, high-performance and flexible smart card solution for applications that require multiple levels of functionality such as electronic identification and other services that demand the ability to transfer data at ever increasing data rates. Based on the industry-standard SmartMIPS* architecture that delivers true computing capability for smart cards, the Philips 32-bit HiPerSmart solution offers the security, power and reliability to run versatile, open application environments such as Java Card*.

“Security is a key factor facing the smart card industry today and Philips has a legacy of in-depth expertise in the design and development of secure smart card ICs,” said Thomas Riener, manager of Market Sector Security Solutions at Philips Semiconductors. “With the 32-bit HiPerSmart computing platform, Philips is at the forefront of delivering the high system integrity and reliability needed to securely run a wide range of services on a single smart card.”

HiPerSmart is a highly optimized smart card chip that meets the needs of the smart card industry for rapid product development according to specific and unique customer demands, thus allowing for fast prototyping to accelerate time to market. The Philips HiPerSmart solution includes a unique blend of Flash and EEPROM technology on a single chip. Using Flash technology, the chip can be programmed during or after card production–even after the card has entered the field. With this flexible memory feature, card users can download new applications to their card after purchase or issuance. Open security standards for 32-bit smart computing platforms are key to service providers and network operators. In line with this key requirement, Philips’ HiPerSmart is based on a standard architecture. In contrast to proprietary offerings, chip solutions based on open standards allow the assessment of performance and security of new solutions in a credible and reliable manner. In addition, they provide multiple sourcing and shorter time-to-market advantages through compatibility of standard instruction sets, drivers and libraries, while also leveraging the broad knowledge base available in the market with regards to the development of core and application software.


The HiPerSmart P9SC648 comes equipped with 512 Kbyte Flash, 142 Kbyte EEPROM and 16 Kbyte RAM and will be available in Q1 2004. For more information visit