Infineon Provides Contactless Excellence for ID and Payment Applications: New SLE 78CL Dual-Interface Chip Card Microcontroller Family Incorporates Revolutionary Security Features

Nov 17, 2009 | Technology Media

Neubiberg, Germany and Paris, France – November 17, 2009 – Confirming its continued innovation in contactless excellence, Infineon Technologies AG (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) today at the “Cartes & Identification” Trade Show introduced a high-security dual-interface microcontroller family that provides digital security features previously unknown in contactless chips. The new SLE 78CL (CL for contactless) family incorporates the award-winning “Integrity Guard” hardware security technology that Infineon invented and that the chip card industry acknowledged as Best Hardware Innovation. With the SLE 78CL family Infineon addresses next-generation government identification (ID) and payment applications in the smart card form factor and beyond.

Hardware-based security is becoming more than ever the differentiating factor in chip card and security projects for the next decade. eGovernment documents in particular, which have lifetimes of up to ten years or longer, require an enduring foundation of chip level protection technology. A key success factor in the sensitive high-end security identification and payment markets is the ability to provide long-term security and robust, high-quality products with excellent contactless performance.

Answering these market requirements with the SLE 78CL family of contactless security microcontrollers, Infineon provides comprehensive error-detection capabilities and full on-chip encryption over the complete data path. The data path covers the dual central processor unit (CPU) that is typical for all SLE 78CL products, all memories (EEPROM, Flash, ROM, RAM), caches, and the buses.

The dual CPU utilizes hardware encrypted calculation with individual secret keys and continuously cross-checks each other’s operations to identify erroneous states. After detecting an error or the attempt of an attack, the high-security microcontroller can decide whether the operation is continued or an alarm is to be triggered and the operation is automatically stopped.

The SLE 78CL family merges the Integrity Guard technology with a sophisticated low-power architecture to bring high-security to contactless applications while abiding by the most stringent requirements of power consumption and time constraints. One essential mechanism of the low-power architecture is the automatic adjustment of the SLE 78CL chips’ internal data processing speed to the available energy from the reader field. This allows the microcontroller to start operation even with very low field strengths. As smartcards and electronic government identification devices typically do not have a battery, the radio waves of the reader device supply the energy for the operation of the contactless chip.

For global interoperability, the SLE 78CL chips support the complete range of contactless proximity interfaces, such as ISO/IEC 14443 Type B and Type A. Contactless transaction speed of up to 848 kbit/s considerably shortens transaction times and enables convenient interaction even if large datasets are being transmitted such as in electronic passports.

The products are undergoing the Common Criteria “EAL 5+ high” certification process and EMVCo approval processes.

Availability of the SLE 78CL contactless family

Today, six members of the SLE 78CL security microcontroller family are available. These devices differ in EEPROM size and offer memory capacities of 244 kilobytes (kb) to 288kb of ROM for program code (e.g. operating systems) and 36kb to 144kb of EEPROM for data storage. Specialized co-processors for symmetrical and asymmetrical crypto-operations, such as 3-DES (Triple Data Encryption Standard), AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), RSA (Rivest, Shamir, Adlemen) and ECC (Elliptic Curves Cryptography), allow for high-speed data processing.

Further information

Information on the “Cartes & Identification” Trade Show (Paris-Nord, Villepinte Exhibition Centre, November 17-19, 2009) is available at

For more information on Infineon’s highlights at the “Cartes & Identification” Trade Show, which the company presents at Booth #4L 014 in Hall 4, please visit

For additional information on Infineon’s SLE 78 and SLE 78CL families of security microcontrollers as well as the company’s portfolio of chip card ICs and security ICs please go to and to

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, communications, and security. In the 2008 fiscal year (ending September), the company reported sales of Euro 4.3 billion with approximately 29,100 employees worldwide. With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY). Further information is available at

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