Home > ST Microelectronics introduces new generation of high-performance dual-interface chip-card microcontrollers

ST Microelectronics introduces new generation of high-performance dual-interface chip-card microcontrollers

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Global semiconductors specialist and leading provider of smart card ICs, ST Microelectronics introduces the next generation of secure dual-interface chip-card microcontrollers combining advanced computing power with high contactless performance.

ST's new ST31 series microcontrollers combine the latest ARM SecurCore SC000 processor that delivers excellent computing performance and energy efficiency, support for contact or contactless operation, and support for MIFARE, MIFARE DESFire and Calypso transport-card standards enhancing multi-application versatility. The ST31’s extremely low-power architecture helps improve communication speed and reliability in contactless applications, in which the card circuitry is powered by RF energy from the reader.

According to Noel Hurley, VP strategy and marketing, processor division, ARM, the SC000 processor targets today's high volume smart-card applications, with proven SecurCore security capabilities, low power consumption, reduced silicon footprint, and numerous architectural features that help reduce development costs and speed up time to market.

Marie-France Florentin, General Manager, Secure Microcontroller Division, ST Microelectronics comments that the ST31 series strengthens ST’s position in the digital security arena, expanding their family of dual-interface secure microcontrollers to support banks and service providers in deploying secure and convenient contactless solutions.

Over 90% of card payment terminals in Europe already comply with the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) standard for chip and PIN cards. With rapid adoption of chip cards for banking and multi-applications including payment and transport worldwide, the latest contactless standards promise even greater convenience for customers, shorter transaction times, and greater security.

Credit card fraud has dropped appreciably after chip cards have been introduced in Europe and countries such as Canada, Australia, Japan and Korea. Banks in China and Hong Kong are working towards complete conversion by 2015.

Key features of ST31 series chip-card microcontrollers:

  • Relies on a highly secure architecture targeting EMVCo and Common Criteria EAL5+/EAL6+ security certifications
  • Capable of supporting recognised cryptography algorithms such as DES, AES, RSA and ECC
  • Reduces implementation costs by utilising the silicon-efficient SecurCore SC000 processor based on ARM's advanced v7-M microcontroller architecture
  • Single-interface version for contact-only application also available
  • 16 KB - 52 KB on-chip EEPROM options
  • NESCRYPT co-processor for public key cryptography algorithm
  • NESLIB certified cryptography library option
  • ISO 7816 compliant for contact-card applications
  • ISO 14443 A/B/B' contactless protocols, with automatic protocol detection
  • Contactless Automatic Frequency Control
  • Contactless data rate up to 3.4 Mbit/s
  • Support for simultaneous contact/contactless operation
  • MIFARE and MIFARE DESFire certified libraries option
  • 90nm advanced NVM technology

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