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NXP rolls out thinner smart card ICs

Posted: 07 Nov 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NXP  SmartMX  smart card  MOB6  electronic identification 

NXP Semiconductors announced it is the first volume supplier of ultrathin smart card ICs that are finer than a human hair or a sheet of paper. The company said the chips in its SmartMX family can be manufactured to be 75µm thick, which is 50 per cent thinner than the current industry standard for smart card ICs. This enables product designs to deliver enhanced security features and durability to address the latest requirements for electronic identification documents such as ePassports, eVisas and national ID cards.

Due to the space gained by using thinner chips and chip packages within a product, NXP said passport printers, inlay manufacturers and smart card manufacturers have more flexibility to design solutions with a new structural composition. For instance, it is now possible to accommodate extra protective material—as eGovernment documents can be in circulation for up to 10yrs—while still maintaining the overall dimensions of the solution. The new chip also enables the design of further security features such as additional layers for laser engraving. Alternatively, designers can create new applications which are much thinner than was previously possible.

"Our new IC and package delivery types allow solutions which address durability requirements and size constraints for today's ePassports and into the future as ultrathin electronic documents become a reality," said Michael Ganzera, manager, eGovernment marketing, NXP Semiconductors.

The new 75µm wafer will also be incorporated in NXP's new contactless package called MOB6 for ePassports and other contactless electronic identification solutions. Approximately 260µm thick, the MOB6 is 20 per cent thinner than existing solutions, NXP said. As a member of the NXP MOB contactless family, it is fully compatible with the MOB2 and MOB4 packages, which are currently in high volume production.

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