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Dual-interface chip-card MCUs unleashed

Posted: 02 Nov 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU? ST31 series? ARM SecurCore SC000 processor? MIFARE? MIFARE DESFire?

STMicroelectronics has announced what it claims as the next generation of secure dual-interface chip-card microcontrollers (MCUs) combining advanced computing power with high contactless performance. ST's ST31 series is the first chip-card MCU to combine the latest ARM SecurCore SC000 processor that delivers outstanding 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, stated the company.

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. The chips rely 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, while also reducing implementation costs by using the silicon-efficient SecurCore SC000 processor based on ARM's advanced v7-M MCU architecture. This will accelerate conversion to chip cards in transitioning areas such as China, where cost is a major consideration for card issuers, indicated the company. A single-interface version of the ST31 for contact-only application is also available.

The ST31 series is sampling now and scheduled for certification in April 2013. Devices will be available with an EEPROM memory size of 52, 34, 22 or 16KB, single or dual interface, and in wafer form or embeddable module.

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