MUNICH, Germany Infineon Technologies AG here today rolled out the latest member of its 66Plus series of 16-bit smart-card controllers with 64 kilobytes of EEPROM for fast prototyping of new products.
Infineon said the SLE66CX640P contains more on-chip EEPROM than any other controller for smart-card applications. The chip maker also said it is the first supplier of smart-card ICs to employ 0.25-micron process technology for controller products.
With such amounts of EEPROM, the smart-card controllers will be able to adequately handle Microsoft Corp.'s Windows for Smart Card operating system, said Ulrich Hamann, senior vice president and general manager of Infineon's Security and Chip Card ICs Business Group. The EEPROM-based controllers will allow engineers to complete their development and testing of smart-card applications without waiting for factory programming with masked ROMs, he said.
Once applications are fully tested, controllers with 8 to 64 kbytes of EEPROM and 64 to 136 kbytes of ROM can be selected for volume products. The 64 to 136 kbytes of ROM can be used to hold the operating system with extra levels of security. The SLE66CX640P offers advanced security features, including a dedicated smart card core and cryptographic functionality in hardware. The advanced high-security features of the 66Plus family including random number generator (RNG), memory management and protection unit, shields, sensors, filters and cryptographic accelerators are also on the device.
"This competitive offering places Infineon ahead of alternative, less-secure standard core solutions currently available in the marketplace due to the added advantages of stronger hardware security, reliability and faster time-to-market," Hamann claimed. The Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards operating system will be the first to take advantage of this quick application development environment, according to Infineon.
Infineon said it expects the SLE66CX640P to be used in high-end Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless communications applications. It can also be used in security-sensitive applications, such as mobile electronic commerce, banking and future multi-application cards, said Infineon.
Developers have the option to load the entire Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards operating system with all its options in the EEPROM space and develop applications on the chip while maintaining the integrity of the operating system, said Mike Dusche, Microsoft's product manager handling Windows for Smart Cards. Last year, Infineon and Microsoft announced an agreement to port the Windows for Smart Card operating system to the 66Plus series of controllers.
Samples of the SLE66CX640P controller are now available, with volume production expected in the third quarter. Pricing has been set at $6.55 each in quantities of 100,000. Infineon is also making available the SLE66CX320P controller, priced at $4.20 each in quantities of 100,000.