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The DS8007 and smart card interface fundamentals

Posted: 29 Aug 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DS8007  smart card  MCU  embedded integrated circuit 

What is a smart card? A smart card is generally defined as any pocket-sized card containing an embedded integrated circuit. Because of the embedded IC, smart cards are sometimes referred to as

Integrated Circuit Cards, or ICCs. Used in widely varying applications, these cards replace the familiar payment (debit or credit) cards that use a magnetic stripe to store information about the card account. The transition to smart cards in payment applications is occurring primarily because of increased functionality, and especially because of the improved security possible with this technology. These latter capabilities must, however, be evaluated against the smart card's higher cost.

The ICs embedded in smart cards can be either simple, non-volatile memory devices or something as sophisticated as a MCU capable of performing complex operations. A simple non-volatile memory device in a payment card can replace the magnetic stripe for storing data. In many such devices, the memory is combined with additional logic to restrict access to some, or all of the memory. However, the real power of smart cards lies in the ability of an embedded MCU to perform data processing and/or encryption functions.

This application note describes some of the fundamentals of smart cards and how to communicate with them. Software is provided that uses the DS8007 to interface a smart card with a DS5002 secure microprocessor.

View the PDF document for more information.

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