Sharp develops 1M Flash memory Smart Card using advanced process technology

Thursday 13 November 2003 17:01 CET | News

Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas has developed a Smart Card with embedded 1MB Flash Memory.

The new Smart Card uses Sharp?s 0.18 um process and five metal connection process. Compared with the industry?s use of 0.25 um process, Sharp?s migration to a 0.18 um process demonstrates the company?s leadership in developing high-density memory technology for Smart Cards. Samples of the 1MB module will be available in December 2003, followed by the 512 kilobyte version in April 2004. Sharp previously developed a multi-application Smart Card with the highest density built-in memory and reduced cell size in the industry. The use of Smart Cards for multiple applications, such as e-passports, will increase in the Smart Card industry alongside the growth of single-application card programs, such as transportation, medical and corporate ID cards. Because its cell size is too large, traditional Smart Card chips composed of mask ROM and EEPROM are not suitable for high-density memory on multi-application Smart Cards. In contrast, the internal 1MB memory capacity is specifically tailored to support multi-application operating systems and expanded application sizes. The process reduction achieved with this new Smart Card results in a die size almost as small as traditional density EEPROM die size with more than double density. Sharp is also planning to be certified to meet the internationally accepted IT security requirements known as Common Criteria and is planning to meet the needs of the market by implementing GlobalPlatform, which is suitable for using multi-applications on one card. Features of the new 1MB Flash Memory Smart Card include: - New process for Smart Card LSI, at 0.18 um embedded Flash memory; - High security with the protection layers using five metal wiring; - More than double density in same die size as compared to the traditionally structured LSI; - Low noise and a 20 percent decrease in power consumption with low voltage.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Cards
Countries: World
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