SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today announced it has begun volume production of a new 16-bit RISC-based processor for smart-card applications in a move to expand its product offering and become the world's largest supplier of smart-card chips by 2005.
The 16-bit ClamRISC central processing unit fills out Samsung's existing lineup of smart-card CPUs, which include 8- and 32-bit processors.
The new 16-bit CPU has an option for 32 or 64 kilobytes of EEPROM, 128-Kbytes of mask-programmed ROM, and 4-Kbytes of RAM. It is aimed at smart-card data storage, computation and security systems, such as wireless communications, e-commerce, and transportation applications, said Samsung.
The Korean semiconductor giant said Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithms have been integrated into the device to provide higher-speed encoding operations between smart cards and readers. According to Samsung, the DES hardware is 10,000 times faster than software-based implementations of the widely used encryption standard.
Samsung said it has designed the 16-bit smart card CPU to use an onboard operating system that can accommodate multiple specifications for end-user requirements. The device can be supported by Multos or Java software platforms, the company said.
Citing a forecast from Dataquest Inc, the Korean chip maker said the smart card chip market is expected to be worth $1.3 billion in 2001 and grow at an average of 30% per year to $3.2 billion by 2004. Samsung said it now aims to become the world's largest supplier of smart card chips by 2005.