Infineon Technologies Brings Heightened Security to Automatic Identification and Access Card Markets, Delivers Cryptographic Protection in Contactless ID Chips

Nov 15, 2001 | Technology Media

Munich, Germany / Chicago – November 15, 2001 – At the Frontline Solutions Expo in Chicago, Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE: IFX), a world leader in integrated circuit identification and security products, today announced the availability of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) products with heightened security features that enable Infineon and its partners to produce identification systems that are resistant to counterfeiting or unauthorized tampering.

The new crypto version of Infineon’s “my-d” chips can be used to store and protect confidential data on a “smart label,” or to securely embed information into manufactured goods during production. In personal identification applications, the security features can be used to authenticate the access status of a cardholder. The features also support secure storage of cash value amounts, allowing use of the chips in cards for prepaid payment applications.

Infineon’s my-d RFID products operate at 13.56 MHz frequency and are compliant with the global standard for Vicinity Cards and Smart Label applications (ISO/IEC 15693). By offering much greater memory than competitive products, and by using secure memory sectors on a single chip, my-d products provide ID systems providers with enhanced capabilities and application flexibility. The secure version of my-d incorporates advanced features such as a mutual authentication algorithm based on 64 bit keys and secret key pairs to help limit unauthorized access to data in the secure memory sectors.

Infineon is the only producer of enhanced security RFID chips manufactured using a 0.25 micron chip process. This enables the company to produce chips with up to 10 Kilobit maximum data capacity, which is from 5 to 40 times larger than other currently available 13.56 MHz chips, with chip size comparable to alternative products. Depending on the label and RF transponder configuration, the operating range of the IC can be up to 70 cm (approximately 2.25 feet) for read and write functions, or up to 120 cm (approximately 4 feet) for, gate configuration systems.

Strong Growth Market


The growing acceptance of smart labels across a range of industries is one important factor in this strong market growth. In a smart label, the RF chip and antenna are affixed to a product carton or directly to manufactured goods. The paper-thin device is then programmed using a fixed or handheld scanner. This has proven to be a cost-effective solution for industries that need to quickly and accurately identify, track and manage thousands or even millions of items. Smart labels go beyond the simple bar code identification method by providing the benefits of RFID technology – each label is uniquely identified, and more information about a labeled product can be stored. The read/write capability of the chip enables transfer of information and automated updates using an RF scanner, even without line of sight contact.

In the year 2000, the global market for RFID technology grew to nearly U.S. $898 million in supplier revenue, including all hardware, software and services to provide organizations with systems used for asset management, tracking and tracing of goods in logistics supply chains, and security. According to research published in May 2001 by Venture Development Corporation (www.vdc-corp.com), RF chips accounted for U.S. $76.3 million of this total. Through 2005, total supplier revenue is projected to grow by 24% annually, and revenue for ICs is projected to grow by 34 percent on a compounded annual basis.

With the availability of the secure, crypto my-d chip, Infineon now offers four chips in its Identsystem IC family to address specific market requirements. Both the “plain” memory mode and enhanced security mode ICs are available in 10 Kbit and 2.5 Kbit versions. For the secure versions, Infineon also provides manufacturers of scanning devices with a Secure Access Module for programming and key locking of secured memory areas. The secure product also can be configured with combinations of secure and openly accessible stored data, providing flexibility for systems providers and end users.

Availability, Sample Pricing


Samples of the secure, crypto version of the my-d chip are now available, at unit price starting at U.S. $.33 (33 cents) for the 2.5 Kbit version. The plain version of the my-d IC is now available at a unit price starting at U.S. $.30 (30 cents) in low volumes. The products are available in wafer form and inlays in various sizes. Chip modules for use in cards and tags will follow in Q1 2002.


About Infineon


Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com

Information Number

INFCC200111.010e

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    Infineon Technologies Brings Heightened Security to Automatic Identification and Access Card Markets, Delivers Cryptographic Protection in Contactless ID Chips.
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