Infineon Retains Market Leadership for Chip Card ICs Due To Excellent Security Expertise for Ten Consecutive Years

Sep 10, 2007 | Business & Financial Press

Neubiberg, Germany – September 10, 2007 – Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE: IFX) retained its global market leadership in chips for card applications in 2006. In a recent report entitled “ Global Smart Card IC Study 2006”, the US market research company Frost & Sullivan confirmed that Infineon achieved market leadership. In 2006, Infineon’s market share was 29.1 percent of the overall chip card IC (integrated circuit) market, totaling about $1.9 billion U.S. dollars according to Frost & Sullivan. This makes Infineon the global market leader for chip card ICs for the tenth consecutive year. The market research company also affirms that Infineon is the market leader in volume shipments of security microcontrollers for chip cards. Infineon shipped 844 million microcontroller units in the 3.06 billion microcontroller market, leading it to exceed the 27.5 percent mark.

”Infineon has played an outstanding role in the smart card field throughout the last decade. Despite hard times in the industry, Infineon has always managed to keep its leadership by addressing a variety of applications with a wide portfolio and a broad customer base and today has an excellent reputation for its security expertise,” said Anoop Ubhey, Global Programme Director, Smart Cards ICT at Frost & Sullivan market research company.

Infineon is strong in chip card growth fields: contactless, ID and payment

Furthermore, Frost & Sullivan asserts that Infineon has a leading position in several of today’s growth markets for the chip card industry, including contact-based and contactless interface, with the trend towards the contactless interface. In the upcoming years, Frost & Sullivan anticipates the market for contactless cards to grow by an average of 34 percent year-on-year. For contactless interfaces, Infineon has expanded its Mifare® portfolio towards microcontrollers and is today the only provider of contactless chips that are compatible with all the contactless standards including Mifare, ISO/IEC14443 B, A, and FeliCa®.

Infineon is the world’s leading supplier of security chips in the payment segment, including credit cards and payment cards. Also, Infineon is strong in high-security applications including identification for electronic passports or personal ID on smartcards.

“The demand for secure, hardware-based solutions is increasing due to the integration of security chips in electronic travel documents,” said Dr. Helmut Gassel, Vice President and General Manager, Chip Card and Security ICs at Infineon Technologies. “Hardware-based security is a necessity for entering this market, especially when it comes to new applications such as identification and payment.” According to Gassel, Infineon is supplying roughly 70 million chips to government ID projects in 2007, with volume-issuing having just begun in some of these projects. Infineon currently ships close to 50 percent of the market total in the government ID segment (without the China ID project), with 35 percent specifically in the e-passport segment, Gassel estimates.

Another major growth field, where Infineon is strong, is the mobile communication with high-end SIM (subscriber identification module) cards as a pivotal point for mobile television and near field communication (NFC) including high-density SIM cards offering memory space in the single- or double-digit megabyte range over the medium term. High single-digit memory capacities are required for functionalities such as enhanced address books, Mobile-TV, key storage for audio and video decryption/encryption, access to smart card web servers defined by network operators, and NFC applications.

“Infineon seeks to achieve profitable growth by pursuing a strategy of tailored security to offer every customer application the right security levels,” adds Dr. Helmut Gassel. “We are in the forefront of chip-based security development and are proud that so many customers appreciate these efforts and select Infineon’s products.”

Together with energy efficiency and communication, security is one of the three focus areas of Infineon. The company is contributing its more than 20 years of security expertise, gained in the development and production of chip card ICs and security ICs, to the effort to increase the security of today's solutions in communications, reliable identification of persons and goods, banking, access protection for data and networks, and digital home entertainment electronics.

For further information on Infineon’s product portfolio of chip card and security ICs, please go to  

The top market players in the chip card IC market in 2006

According to market report “Global Smart Card IC Study” (published end of August 2007) of US market research firm Frost & Sullivan, the overall chip card IC market in 2006 totaled about $1.9 Billion U.S. dollars.

The top chip card IC market players in 2006 were:
1. Infineon Technologies (29.1%)
2. Samsung (15.5%)
3. NXP (14.3%)
4. Atmel (13.0%)
5. Renesas (12.5%)
6. STMicroelectronics (6.9%)
7. Others (8.7%)

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 fiscal year 2006 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 7.9 billion (including Qimonda sales of Euro 3.8 billion) with approximately 42,000 employees worldwide (including approximately 12,000 Qimonda employees). With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the US from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at

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