On Tuesday (Nov. 18) at the "Cartes 2003" show in Paris, Infineon Technologies announced the availability of new members of its 32-bit security controller 88 family. Featuring as much as 400 kB
of configurable on-chip EEPROM, the new security controllers allow smart card manufacturers to ship products with customized software configurations - equivalent to former customer-specific ROM-mask based products - in just two weeks.
The new microcontrollers feature a dedicated smart card core and are said to be the world's first chip card ICs manufactured in 130 nanometer process
technology. The new smart card controllers are designed for
multi-application chip cards used in mobile communications (GSM, UMTS),
identity authentication and banking.
With the SLE88CFX4000P, Infineon sets a milestone for chip card controllers. It combines the flexibility and convenience of Flash-like memory characterized by fast programming with the advantage of the EEPROM offering small granularity, short erase/program times, and high number of program cycles (500,000). The 88 family's integral security concept ensures the data and code in EEPROM to be stored as securely as in ROM, with only authorized users able to re-program the card.
Compared to today's security controllers that use a ROM mask for storing customized code the new ROM-less architecture accelerates sampling time and, according to Infineon, shortens the time-to-market period for smart card manufacturers by a factor of three, from about six weeks to a maximum of two weeks for pre-personalized products. With this new memory approach smart card manufacturers can improve logistics operations by shortening development cycles and time for volume ramp-up.
The EEPROM is specified with fast erase and write cycles (1.3 ms and 1 ms, respectively) and is configurable in code and data sections with 4 kB granularity, enabling optimized memory usage for different projects on the same platform. This provides the flexibility to store the operating system as well as application code and data. The 400 kB EEPROM is, for example, configurable as 256 kB code and 144 kB data, or 320 kB code and 80 kB data, depending on the application.
The SLE88CFX4000P is a platform for multi-application chip card systems. To meet security requirements
the 88 family's integral security concept features multiple levels of physical protection and encryption support, including what the company says is the industry's strongest DPA/SPA (Differential Power
Analysis/Simple Power Analysis) countermeasures. Its on-chip Memory
Management and Protection Unit (MMU) serves as a firewall to enable secure separation of adjacent application programs and data as well as other system elements.
Further, the MMU is the hardware basis for secure downloading of applications in the field. A context/application switching mechanism allows fast switching between multiple tasks.
To support symmetric and asymmetric algorithms, the controller
features crypto coprocessors for DES (Data Encryption Standard), Triple-DES, RSA (Rivest, Shamir, Adleman) and elliptic curves algorithms. RSA signatures with key lengths of 2,048 bits
without Chinese Remainder Theorem (CRT) are processed in 1.9 s (at 66 MHz), with CRT within 35 ms (at 66 MHz).
The 88 family is based on a 32-bit RISC core architecture running up to 66 MHz and incorporating on-chip data and instruction caches to support fast program execution by pre-fetching instructions. It accelerates all Virtual Machine-based chip card languages, including JavaSC and MultOS.
To reduce card suppliers' development costs and speed up time-to-market,
the SLE88CFX4000P also provides a Platform Support Layer (PSL) stored in a 80 kBytes "hidden" ROM, which is a complete set of low-level drivers for all peripherals and a crypto library for RSA, elliptic curves and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).
The SLE88CFX4000P includes 80 KBytes of "hidden" ROM, 400 KB of
EEPROM/Flash, 16 KB of RAM and a new crypto
co-processor. It operates at a voltage range of 1.62 to 5.5 V, in full
compliance with ETSI specifications. The current consumption is 0.35 mA/MHz internal clock frequency.
The SLE88CFX4000P will be available in Q1 2004. Besides this EEPROM-only product Infineon offers a version with additional 160 kB user-ROM, the SLE88CFX4002P. The products are shipped as sawn wafers or packaged in
modules. For design-in support, a complete set of development tools
including a Software Development Kit (SDK) and an Emulator is available.
Further information on
SLE88CFX4000P is available here.