Infineon Technologies Provides Secure Microcontroller Chip Used In U.S. Department of Defense Smart Card Program

Oct 30, 2001 | Market News

Munich, Germany / Alexandria, Virginia, USA – October 30, 2001 – Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE: IFX), the world's leading supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) for chip cards, today announced that it is supplying secure microcontroller chips used in smart cards now being issued by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The Infineon chip is a component of the only currently available smart card that meets the stringent requirements specified by DoD, including FIPS 140-1 Level 2 Certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The DoD Common Access Card (CAC) is being rolled out as the single standard means of physical identification, building access and computer network access for approximately four million civilian and military employees and outside contractors.

Infineon manufactures the secure microcontroller used by SchlumbergerSema in the smart cards provided to the DoD by Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) under a contract awarded as part of the Defense Manpower Data Center’s Common Access Card (CAC) program.

In smart cards like those used in the CAC program, the secure microcontroller works like the processor of a personal computer to run the operating system and application software. The microcontroller has advanced security capabilities built-in, such as support for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital signature technology. These features work with other elements on the smart card to protect stored data and to ensure that only the individual owner of a card is able to use its features. In addition to the microcontroller, the card contains a magnetic stripe, a linear bar code, a 2D bar code, a photograph, and several anti-counterfeit security features.

The CAC program specifies smart card technology that is based on the open-Java platform and meets the stringent requirements of Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-1 Level 2 certification. This provides both high-level security capability and the flexibility for the DoD to add additional application programs to the smart card in the future.

“With our 15-year history as a supplier of chip card ICs and leading position as a supplier of secure ICs for identification and authentication, Infineon was one of a few companies to consult with DoD officials as they planned the implementation of the CAC system,” said Joerg Borchert, vice president of the security & chip card business group of Infineon Technologies North America Corp. “We are now very honored that our microcontrollers are used in DoD smart cards that are fully compliant with the smart card security requirements defined by the U.S. government for this project.”

“Since entering the chip card IC market, Infineon has acquired extensive skills in all the security areas associated with this technology,” said Dr. Soenke Mehrgardt, Chief Technology Officer at Infineon Technologies. “The confidence of the DoD in our security chip card controllers as well as the fact that our latest chip card controller last week won the prestigious ´Sesames 2001´ award for the best technological innovation within the chip card industry reinforces Infineon’s leading position in the market for security semiconductor solutions.”

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 2000 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 7.28 billion with about 29,000 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

NOTE: The U.S. DoD, Electronic Data Systems and SchlumbergerSema released additional information about the CAC program today at a press briefing in Alexandria, Virginia.

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