Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough in smartcard technology spells good news for European consumers

22.02.2006


E-commerce transactions are becoming more and more frequent in today’s fast-paced society. How about going one step further and making these transactions through your mobile phone, television set top box or even pen and diary based services. The technology breakthroughs achieved by the EUREKA Cluster Project A302 (Esp@ss-is) on smartcard platform development have improved the quality and the type of data that can be processed reducing even more the risks of identity theft.



In the past, a smartcard chip could only hold and transmit 424 K of data per second through a radio frequency interface (contact-less interface). However, the ten partners of the MEDEA+ A302 Project on smartcard platforms have succeeded in achieving 1.7Mb of data per second on a smartcard chip, which is ample to perform transactions requiring high security, such as paying bills, when connected to the Internet through a wireless interface.

"Because of its nature, and because of the data a smartcard can now hold, it can be more secure. It can hold more proof that you are a person and not a server or a machine. For instance through biometric data such as fingerprinting." says project leader Jean-Paul Thomasson of STMicroelectronics, one of the technology providers in the project consortium.


MEDEA+ is the industry-initiated pan-European programme for advanced co-operative Research and Development (R&D) in microelectronics and a EUREKA Cluster. The project partners included a university and SMEs, as well as Europe’s leading system providers such as Philips and Thomson. Although all the partners knew each other well before starting their collaboration, Thomasson says, "Having the Eureka label gave credibility to the project and to the consortium.”

Exploiting a fast growing market

As well as innovation, the project breakthrough has allowed the consortium to exploit the card based e-commerce market, currently estimated at 20 billion euros in Europe. The market is set to expand rapidly, with analysts forecasting that within the next four years, the number of users accessing the Internet through other means than a laptop or desk based computer is set to increase. This is due to the lower price and greater ease of use of these appliances, coupled with the fast internet access that is now being facilitated through wireless, cable, satellite and ADSL (asynchronous digital subscriber line) technologies.

The MEDEA+ consortium members, from France, Italy and the Netherlands, are in the process of seeking ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standardisation for their achievements. They expect the memory capacity embedded on smartcards to rise eight fold in the next three years which will pave the way for the growth of new markets, for instance, in medical applications with the safe storage of medical histories and x-rays on personal health-cards, or the ability to download whole sporting events such as football matches, to your phone, video or television to watch at your convenience.

Working primarily to meet the needs of operators and services in the mobile telecommunications, banking and pay-TV sectors, their achievements also correspond to the requirements of new global sectors in public administration, for the development of highly secure ID cards, driving licenses, e-passports and travel visas. Thomasson foresees that “Growth in these areas will be slower”, adding that, “It takes time to change institutional thinking.” Having said that, STMicroelectronics is already involved in developing projects especially in China.

European advantage

Europe is well placed to take advantage of the developments with its domination of the world smartcard market. This is true for card software suppliers as well as manufacturers of micro-controllers for smartcards, with well over half of all the cards currently in use around the world produced in European smartcard factories.

The prime objective was to deliver the hardware and software to form a basis for open platforms permitting the development of secure value-added services in telecommunications, banking, pay-TV, health and other sectors. However, the MEDEA+ Project consortium has also gone further by defining the basic technological building blocks to high-speed wireless and contact-less protocols, defined as a secondary objective. With its wide vertical partnership and global reach, the EsP@ss-IS A302 Project has become the flagship for all Eureka smartcard projects.

Paul McCallum | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
22.02.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>