The Security and Chip Card IC business unit of Siemens Microelectronics Inc.announced Wednesday that it has begun volume shipments of the industry’s first 16-bit cryptocontroller for smart card applications.
The chip — the SLE66CX160S, which is the first device in the 66 family of controllers — enables development of a range of high-security applications for mobile communications, banking, healthcare, pay TV and access control.
“The Siemens SLE66CX160S is a cryptocontroller featuring what is currently the largest memory capacity in chip card controllers on an extremely small chip surface of less than 20 mm2,” said Joerg Borchert, vice president of SMI’s Security and Chip Card IC business unit in Santa Clara, Calif.
The device features memory capacities of up to 32 Kbytes of EEPROM, 32 Kbytes of ROM and 1.2 Kbytes of RAM, which allows multi-application-compatible operating systems to be implemented on a single chip. According to Borchert: “The chip provides a platform for the launch of genuine multi-application cards.
“Its processing power and flexibility will allow several service providers to offer their services on the same chip card.”
The new 66 family, which is based on a CPU developed specifically for chip cards, is six times faster than a standard 8051 controller. The family’s controllers have a number of greatly enhanced security features and are the only controllers on the market today to support calculation of elliptical curves.
The 66 family can process RSA algorithms with key lengths of up to 1024 bits in less than 900 ms. Memory encryption also guarantees the secrecy of data stored in EEPROM, ROM and RAM. A random number generator fully implemented in the hardware generates true random numbers thanks to its analog structure.
Other high-performance peripherals in the 66 family include a 16-bit timer, a CRC module and interrupt logic to support processing of real time applications.
The SLE66CX160S controllers feature extremely low power consumption, very high memory capacity and significantly better performance and security attributes. Siemens guarantees that every device in the 66 controller family is compatible with the previous 44 controller family, which currently plays a prominent role worldwide in virtually every relevant chip card project.
The Siemens 66CX160S is available now. The average price per 100 parts is $4.25 per chip, or $4.80 per chip on module. For more information and project pricing, call 408/492-3213, or visit SMI’s website at: [http://www.smi.siemens.com/ICs/card].
Siemens Microelectronics, Inc. (SMI), based in Cupertino, Calif., develops and manufactures semiconductors, optoelectronics and passive components for the communications, automotive and computer peripherals industries.
SMI offers one of the broadest product portfolios in the microelectronics industry, and is a market leader in communications ICs, smart power products, embedded DRAM technology and custom optoelectronics. A subsidiary of Siemens Corporation, based in New York, SMI is affiliated with Siemens AG Semiconductor Group and Passive Components Group, Munich, Germany.