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Appeared on: Thursday, August 04, 2005
EM Microelectronic Introduces Smart Card IC Module Family for Low-End Mobile Phones

The announcement concerns the EMTG30 and EMTG56, a family of Flash memory-based smart card ICs designed for use in SIM cards for low-end mobile telephony.

The EMTG30/56 are compatible with the ISO7816-3 Integrated Circuit Card (smart card) specification. Memory flexibility is a key advantage of the EMTG30/56, which contains 31KB and 57KB, respectively, of pure Flash memory.

The EMTG30/56 feature a high-performance 8-bit market standard 8051 microcontroller core that is implemented in hardware, allowing it to process instructions four times faster per clock cycle than typical microcode-based 8051 core designs. An internal tamper-proof clock operates at up to 30MHz and provides better security than designs that require an external clock. Security is also enhanced by the EMTG30/56's built-in analog, hardware-protected memory partitioning and tamper notification.

Most smart card ICs rely on a combination of ROM and EEPROM. In such smart cards, the operating system (OS) and main applications are permanently stored once in the ROM where they cannot be modified. Data, personal information and other applications data are stored in the EEPROM so that they can be modified. Since the ROM portion can only be programmed once, it is typically filled with as many applications as possible, leaving less memory space available for variable user data, program updates and new features. Unlike these smart cards, the EMTG30 and EMTG56 have a memory architecture that is 100% re-programmable. This provides more flexibility for the manufacturer, dealer or end user to reconfigure the operating system and applications.

The EMTG30's Flash memory structure is only one section of 31KB General Purpose NVM organized in 248 pages of 128-byte. For the EMTG56, the GPNVM is organized in 448 pages of 128-byte. They have a minimum guaranteed endurance of 100k cycles. This memory provides hardware-secured, tamper-proof storage for program memory and security information. Memory dedicated to application software and user data can be configured at the last minute, so smart card providers can reduce inventory, simplify logistics, reduce costs and accelerate time-to-market. The EMTG30/56's flexible memory architecture enables low cost smart cards to interoperate with equipment from different service providers and regional standards, making them ideal for banking and communications in developing countries worldwide.

The 8051 microcontroller core is a proven, robust and widely supported architecture, allowing code re-usability and faster development. The EMTG30/56 are supported by development tools including a compiler, link editor, code and data download, and Emulation platform that is fully integrated with the Keil uVision2 development environment. EMTG30/56 Flash memory is using SST SuperFlash technology.

The EMTG30/56 smart card ICs are available and shipping now from EM Microelectronic and its authorized distributors. They are available as backlapped and distressed 8-inch wafers down to 180 micrometer thickness, as sawn wafers on frame, and in packaged 6-pin module form.

(NE Asia Online)

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