STMicroelectronics Extends Contactless Secure MCU Family with 2-kbyte EEPROM Version for Cost-Sensitive High-Performance Applications
Financial institutions, mass transit operators, and card embedders will benefit from the latest addition to ST’s contactless ST19 smartcard chip range
GENEVA, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/–STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) has added a new contactless smartcard microcontroller with 2-kbytes of EEPROM–the ST19WR02–to its successful ST19 family of field-proven secure MCUs. ST is the world’s leading supplier of smart-card ICs to the financial sector, and this new device will trigger further growth in the number and the capability of smart-card applications in the transport, financial, and related industries.
As the number of mass-transit authorities adopting contactless technology for their ticketing solutions continues to increase, and as banks consider making the move to contactless cards, ST confirms its commitment to its customers with this announcement of the latest in its long line of contactless chips. The ST19WR02 will benefit operators, card issuers, and card embedders alike.
Transport operators switching to contactless technology must make a considerable long-term investment. Payment-card infrastructure suppliers now face similar levels of investment as the technology’s convenience begins to appeal to both merchants and card holders. When choosing the technology for either a payment or transport system, an operator needs to be sure that their supplier will match their commitment by supplying–and continuing to supply–advanced dedicated chips with a roadmap for on-going improvements, ensuring a proper return on their investments and continuity.
ST’s advanced ST19WR02 chip is the latest in a long line of field-proven products. The new chip will allow application developers to build solutions to match the requirements of payment-card and transport operators. Finance applications will benefit from the ICs fast contactless interface for ‘Wave, Pay, and Go’ convenience, while maintaining the highest levels of security. Contactless payment cards based on the ST19WR02 will enable banks to penetrate the cash-based retail environment, such as local stores, gas stations, fast food restaurants, and cinemas, where speed and convenience are important.
Transport operators will appreciate the increased processing power and memory compared to current mass transit card technology, with the possibility to introduce solutions for flexible fare structures, loyalty schemes, and intermodal transport offers that will attract new customers while improving services for the existing users. The proven security record of the ST19 family will be attractive to both the payment industry and transport operators in the fight against fraud.
The high-speed ISO 14443 contactless interface of the ST19WR02 will allow card embedders to rapidly test and personalize their products, while reducing transaction times for users and increasing customer satisfaction. The ease of use, by embedders’ application development teams, of the on-chip security features and cryptographic hardware–coupled with availability of advanced development tools and backward compatibility with previous products–will allow the rapid deployment of new applications.
As a global, independent organization, and one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies, ST’s multiple fabrication sites and advanced product portfolio have made it the preferred contactless technology partner for many operators and card embedders. Since the production of the world’s first contactless microprocessor in 1997, ST has successively added to its product range, maintaining backward compatibility yet constantly improving product features.
The new chip is built using 0.18-micron technology. In addition to 2-kbytes of EEPROM it includes 64-kbytes of ROM and 1-kbyte of user RAM. A hardware DES cryptographic processor, with library support for symmetrical algorithms, is complemented by a broad collection of high level memory and anti-intrusion security features. It is supplied in micromodule or wafer form. US pricing for the product is approximately $1.20, depending on quantity and final packaging.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2003, the Company’s net revenues were $7.24 billion and net earnings were $253 million. Further information on ST can be found at http://www.st.com.