– Philips Semiconductors Monday announced MIFARE PROX, the industry’s first family of powerful, high-security, dual-interface controller ICs designed for multi-application, contactless smart cards.

The devices build on Philips Semiconductors’ successful WE family of controller ICs and provides the highest level of security required for applications such as banking, e-commerce and secured network access. The convenience and speed of the contactless interface also benefits applications such as ticketing, electronic payment and identification.

“MIFARE PROX is ideally suited to high-level languages and operating systems, such as Java Card or Multos, and will become the target platform for contact and contactless multi-application cards,” said Alexander Harrer, product line manager Chip Card ICs at Philips Semiconductors. “This product family enables service providers to offer user-friendly electronic payment programs, and supports recently defined banking industry standards, including EMV (the Europay, Mastercard and Visa standard for credit and debit) and CEPS (Common Electronic Purse Standard).”


MIFARE PROX dual interface ICs enable the extended level of security and functionality required for multi-application contactless cards that was previously only possible in contact applications. Philips Semiconductors’ unique smart card hardware firewall, which includes an on-chip memory management unit (MMU), securely separates different applications from one another, allowing a particular application to run in ‘virtual memory space’, with no access to other memory on the chip and, therefore, no access to other applications.

The MIFARE PROX dual-interface IC family is based on the proven high-security features of Philips Semiconductors’ WE products. The devices feature a triple Data Encryption Standard (DES) coprocessor and an optional 32-bit FameX crypto-engine, the most accepted accelerator for public key encryption such as RSA or elliptic curves. Additional features include a contact and a contactless MIFARE interface on a single chip, as well as a unique smart card hardware firewall. The P8RF5016, the first member of the MIFARE PROX family, also features 64 Kbytes user ROM, 2.3 Kbytes RAM and 16 Kbytes EEPROM.

The contactless interface of the MIFARE PROX is fully compatible with the widely used MIFARE interface technology, complying with the international standards for both contact and contactless smart cards. MIFARE interface technology, used in 85% of all contactless smart card programs, is the industry standard for contactless smart cards, with more than 45 million chip card ICs in use and over 450,000 read/write units in operation worldwide.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the family’s first derivative, P8RF5016, are currently available in a 0.35 micron process technology, with volume production scheduled for the second quarter of 2000. The devices are available in quantities of $100,000 for $4.70. Significant reductions in price can be expected in the million-range and higher volumes.

About Philips Semiconductors

Philips Semiconductors, a subsidiary of Philips Electronics North America Corporation and an affiliate of Royal Philips Electronics, headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, is the eighth largest semiconductor supplier based on Dataquest’s 1998 report.(1) Philips Semiconductors’ innovations in digital audio, video, and mobile technology position the company as a leader in the consumer, multimedia and wireless communications markets. Sales offices are located in all major markets around the world and are supported by systems labs. Additional information on Philips Semiconductors can be found on the home page at [www.semiconductors.philips.com]

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