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News

Contactless microcontrollers for India electronic passports

Infineon Technologies : 06 March, 2009  (Application Story)
First wave of contactless security controllers supplied to Indian Government for use in official and diplomat passports
Infineon Technologies has announced that it is the supplier of contactless security microcontrollers for India's electronic passport program. The rollout has started with the issuance of electronic passports to Indian diplomats and officials, and it is expected that in this first phase, up to thirty thousand electronic passports shall be issued. By September 2009, the program is likely to be expanded to include passports used by the general public. Today, approximately six million passports are being annually issued in India.

Designed to facilitate international travel by allowing automatic identity verification, fast immigration inspections combined with efficient border protection and security, the new electronic passports include a security microcontroller in the back cover of the passport that securely stores the same information that is printed on the document.

"India is one of the first major emerging countries to launch the electronic passport and among the fastest-growing smart card markets," said Dr. Helmut Gassel, division president of the Chip Card and Security division at Infineon Technologies. "As the leading supplier of chips used for secure identification, financial transactions and access to electronic systems, we are proud to be selected to supply the security microcontrollers for the first rollout of the Indian electronic passports. Infineon is committed to work with our partners in the development of solutions for the India market."

In addition to India, Infineon supplies its security microcontrollers to many other countries for use in electronic passports including the USA, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Ivory Coast.



Technical details on the security-certified contactless microcontroller used in India's electronic passport, the SLE 66CLX800PE
The India electronic passport project utilizes the SLE 66CLX800PE security microcontroller from Infineon which provides advanced performance and high execution speeds and was specifically designed for use in electronic passports, identity cards, e-government cards and payment cards. The security microcontroller features a crypto-coprocessor and can operate at very high transaction speeds of up to 848 kbits/s even if elevated encryption and decryption operations have to be calculated. In addition, the SLE 66CLX800PE offers all contactless proximity interfaces on a single chip: the ISO/IEC 14443 Type B interface and Type A interface which are both used for communication between electronics passports and the respective readers, and the ISO/IEC 18092 passive mode interface which is used in transport and banking applications mainly in Japan. Infineon is currently the world's only chip card IC provider offering contactless microcontrollers with all relevant contactless proximity interfaces on a single chip. The SLE 66CLX800PE is also compliant with global ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards for electronic passports.

The SLE 66CLX800PE features 80 kilobytes (kb) of EEPROM, 240 kb of ROM, and 6 kb of RAM. With its tailored set of EEPROM/ROM and RAM memory sizes, the SLE 66CLX800PE adheres to the ICAO requirements for the secure storage of the biometric and personal data in travel documents.

The SLE 66PE contactless controller family, which includes the SLE 66CLX800PE, is certified according to Common Criteria EAL 5+ high (BSI-PP-0002 protection profile) security certification. Infineon's security in microcontrollers used in electronic passports builds on underlying hardware-based integral security, with data encryption, memory firewall system and other security mechanisms to safeguard the privacy of data. The SLE 66PE product family comprises a whole product portfolio designed for use in basic-security to high-security smart card systems, with EEPROM sizes ranging from 4 kb to144 kb and covering different applications including government ID, transportation and payment.
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