New Controllers Expected to Secure ID Cards, Passports

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Electronic identity cards and passports may soon become more secure and versatile thanks to Infineon Technologies, which is currently developing two new security controllers providing twice the storage capacity of current smart chips.
With the first global testing of new ID cards and passports slated to begin at the end of this year, Infineon’s controllers can store biometric data such as fingerprints, facial features and retina and iris patterns in an encrypted form.

Each controller features more than 50 built-in security mechanisms ensuring protection against data manipulation and improper use.

Both controllers, SLE66CLX640P and SLE66CLX641P, meet global Standard 9303-1 from the Int’l Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets guidelines for globally valid travel documents for 188 countries.

Under this framework, the data on Infineon’s controllers includes the standard date-of-birth, name and period of validity, as well as several unique biometric characteristics that can be used to ensure identity.

The controllers, capable of supporting both contactless interface format – ISO/IEC 14443 Type A and Type B – can be used worldwide, Infineon says.

The company expects samples of the controllers to become available late this summer, and high volumes ready to ship by the end of 2004.

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