LONDON Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) has started delivering SLE 66CLX800PE security microcontrollers for use in Chinese passports. In terms of volume this is one of the world's two largest electronic passport projects, Infineon said.
As of the first quarter of 2010, all Chinese passports will be issued as electronic passports and in the first full year of the roll-out, about 6.5 million electronic passports will be handed out, the company added.
However, Infineon is not alone in winning Chinese passport approval. NXP BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has announced a deal to supply SmartMX security chips for the Chinese ePassport scheme in October 2009.
In China, two ministries are involved in electronic passport programs: the Ministry of Public Security is responsible for citizens; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for diplomats and government workers. Infineon said it is the only semiconductor supplier delivering into both of China's electronic passport projects.
The SLE 66CLX800PE security microcontroller features a cryptoprocessor and provides execution speeds of up to 848-kbit/s even if elevated encryption and decryption operations have to be calculated. The SLE 66CLX800PE features 80-kbytes of EEPROM, 240-kbytes of ROM, and 6-kbytes of RAM.
The SLE 66CLX800PE is certified according to Common Criteria EAL 5+ security certification and has hardware-based security, data encryption, a memory firewall system and other security mechanisms to safeguard the privacy of data.
"We are deeply honored by the trust awarded to Infineon by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as both the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administration Regions to be the silicon partner for their electronic passport programs," said Helmut Gassel, president of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies, in a statement.
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