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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
HID Global and Sony to form Alliance to Create Contactless Smart Card Readers for the PC Market

HID Global, a leader in solutions for the delivery of secure identity, and Sony today announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Intent for a strategic partnership to jointly develop an embedded contactless smart card reader platform for the global PC marketplace.

The jointly developed platform will be designed specifically for laptop manufacturers and will encompass Sony and HID Global contactless solutions and a broad range of other widely deployed technologies while supporting specific regional and application needs.

The new embedded reader platform will support Sony's FeliCa contactless card technology, HID Global's iCLASS credentials, as well as other technologies. Furthermore, the reader solution will support applications based on Near Field Communication (NFC). Goals for the joint development, including a complete reference design and developer support, are focused on minimizing product development requirements and speeding time-to-market schedules for PC manufacturers. Plans are in place to provide details and availability later this year, the companies said.

Deployed in Asia for more than ten years, Sony's FeliCa technology is used in approximately 67 million mobile phones in Japan, and more than 315 million FeliCa card chips have been shipped for transportation, electronic money and other applications, worldwide. FeliCa has been the basis for transportation access and merchant communities where customers can easily and rapidly purchase goods and services. This year, FeliCa's PC reader, which is also embedded in the remote-control unit of a TV, has exceeded 10 million units shipped. FeliCa microchips combine processing, storage and communications functions and comply with NFC standards. They provide a fast, convenient and secure all-in-one solution platform for multiple applications, including electronic pre-paid transactions, access, interactive signage and membership or loyalty rewards systems.

HID Global's iCLASS smart cards and readers deliver the affordability and reliability of proximity technology while enhancing security through encryption and mutual authentication. iCLASS technology for the jointly developed HID Global and Sony smart card readers will also be securely delivered via HID Global's Trusted Identity Platform (TIP) , which enables all end points in a system or network to be validated so that identity transactions between them can be trusted at any time, on demand.

HID and Sony are now discussing details of the partnership and finalizing a definitive agreement.

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