Colorado Springs, Colo. When EM Microelectronic designed its latest flash memory-based smart card IC, it had flexibility in mind.
The flash memory-based smart card IC, dubbed EMTCG176-3G, is designed for Java subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, which are located in GSM phase 2+ phones and authenticate GSM subscribers to the mobile network.
The EMTCG176-3G smart card IC contains 176-Kilobytes (Kbytes) of non-volatile memory, which is organized in two sectors of different granularities48-Kbytes in pages of 8-Bytes and 128-Kbytes in pages of 512-Bytes.
By organizing the memory in two sectors, code and data spaces are no longer different. Since some data doesn't always need to be byte-addressable, the user can decide the amount of code that is allotted to the OS and use the remaining space for data.
There are several partitioning options, depending on the application. In the GSM phase 2+ with WIB1.2, there are 64-Kbytes of code for the OS and 112-Kbytes for data. In the GSM phase 2+ with WIB1.3, there are 104-Kbytes of code for the OS and 72-Kbytes for data. Another option is 64-Kbytes of code for the OS, 64-Kbytes for data and the remaining 48-Kbytes for Java applets.
With the same chip, the service provider can target several applications.
"With flexible memory partitioning between code and data, the software and the personalization can be done at the very last stage of the production phase at the smart card manufacturer facility," said Mougahed Darwish, president of the management board of EM Microelectronics. "This helps the smart card manufacturers and the service providers to reduce their intermediate stocks and to speed up their time to market, saving cost and increasing competitiveness."
The EMTCG176-3G features an 8051 microcontroller core that processes instructions four times faster per clock cycle than typical microcode-based 8051 core designs, according to the company. The EMTCG176-3G has an internal tamper-proof clock that operates at up to 30-MHz, and built-in analog, triple hardware DES encryption algorithms, hardware-protected memory partitioning and tamper notification.
Unlike conventional smart card ICs, the EMTCG176-3G's memory can be reprogrammed. Its flash memory is divided in two sections, 128-Kbytes of non-volatile memory organized in blocks of 512B and 48-Kbytes of EEPROM. Its flexible memory architecture enables Java-based smart cards to operate with equipment from different service providers in varying regions.
The EMTCG176-3G smart card IC is shipping now for $3 each in quantities of 10,000.
To download the datasheet, click here: www.emmicroelectronic.com/webfiles/Product/Smartcard/EMTCG176_FS.pdf
EM Microelectronic, 1-719-593-2883www.emmicroelectronic.com