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Date: 24th May 2011

Infineon launches security Microcontroller supporting NFC

Infineon Technologies AG is launching its latest security microcontroller for NFC applications: the embedded Secure Element. As an integral part of the mobile phone electronics, the embedded Secure Element provides security for NFC applications such as mobile payment, ticketing and access control. The embedded Secure Element is compatible with all common mobile phone operating systems. Infineon's NFC security microcontrollers are currently already used in most NFC-enabled smart phones.

IMS Research anticipates that the global number of NFC-enabled smart phones and other mobile devices will be about 40 million in 2011 and projects that this figure will grow to 120 million units in 2012. Every tenth new mobile device will then have NFC functionality.

"Trust in reliable mobile payment is a must-have to bring NFC from today's niche into the mass market. Among the key elements that have contributed to Infineon's smart card IC leadership has been its high level of commitment to security innovation. Its security expertise makes Infineon well-positioned to take a lead role in the NFC market," said Alex Green, Senior Research Director at IMS Research.

"NFC changes the way we use mobile phones. Infineon establishes the technical basis for secure mobile payment," said Dr. Helmut Gassel, President of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies AG. "With our security microcontrollers, mobile phones offer NFC functionality that is secure, convenient and efficient. 2011 will see most NFC-enabled mobile devices using Infineon's NFC chips."

Infineon's NFC products are all available and are certified to the Common Criteria EAL 5+ (high) international standard, the world's strictest security requirements for security microcontrollers. They have received approval according to EMVCo (Europay International, Mastercard, Visa) and are suitable for all payment applications offered by mobile devices over NFC.

The new embedded Secure Element, the SLE 97144SE, is part of the electronics in present-day smart phones. This key element ensures compliance of NFC-enabled smart phones with the security requirements of payment and ticketing applications. Its interface is designed specifically for connection to the NFC modem and allows data transfer, beyond the 848 kilobits/second specified according to ISO14443. Enabling Infineon's based NFC devices interoperate with all existing infrastructures for mobile payment and ticketing.

The embedded Secure Element stores the data in encrypted form and remains encrypted for processing along the entire data path (CPUs, memories, caches and buses). The embedded Secure Element security microcontroller has two central processing units (CPU) and a sophisticated error detection system.

Infineon's SLE 88CNFX6600PM uses an ETSI-compliant Single Wire Protocol (SWP) interface to connect the SIM card to the mobile device's NFC modem. Also it supports Mifare contactless technology. The SLE 88CNFX6600PM uses Infineon-developed SOLID FLASH technology that unites memory flash technology with special security features. Infineon says the security microcontroller offers secure non-volatile memory and combines the flexibility and convenience of flash-like memory with the advantage of the EEPROM, which features granularity, very fast programming times and at least 500,000 program cycles. It also provides hardware firewalls to secure the coexistence of multiple applications, such as banking and Java applications from different service providers, which can be downloaded to a mobile device. The SLE 88CNFX6600PM is available and was used, for example, in the big NFC field trial in Nice, France.

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