Infineon, Samsung offer high-capacity smart-card chips

Infineon Technologies and Samsung Electronics have each responded to demand for higher-capacity smart-card chips with two new semiconductor designs.

Munich-based Infineon has developed a "chip-sandwich" technique that entails two integrated circuits being placed on top of each other with their function sides face-to-face. The design offers more than 100 times the memory capacity of today's chip cards while just doubling the chip area, the company said in a statement issued Tuesday at the Cartes and IT Security exhibition in Paris.

Without extra wirebonding, the two semiconductors -- one, for instance, a security microcontroller and the other memory chip -- are mechanically and electrically interconnected via hundreds of tiny contact pads on the chips' surfaces, according to Infineon. In addition to greater storage capacity without increasing the die area, the design offers greater flexibility and shorter development times.

The first of these new superimposed chips, to go into mass production in the second half of 2005, will provide 1M byte of memory or eight times more storage capacity than in current smart-card chips, according to Infineon. They will be used initially in SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards in mobile phones, a smart-card product segment in which demand for additional memory capacity is greatest, the company said. Infineon currently supplies one in every three SIM-card chips, the company said.

By the second half of 2006, the German semiconductor manufacturer plans to deliver face-to-face chips with up to 20M bytes of memory on just twice the area on which a maximum of 1M byte fits today.

At the Paris show, Samsung announced that it doubled the data storage capacity of its recently developed 256K-byte EEPROM (Electrically Erasable and Programmable ROM) embedded smart card chip to 512K bytes.

The 512K-byte smart card chip, the industry's first to use 0.13 micron process technology, enables higher memory density and smaller chip size, according to Samsung. The chip supports the enhanced user identification features of USIM (Universal SIM) and UIM (User Identity Module) cards used in 3G (third-generation) handsets, the company said.

Samsung plans mass production of the 512K byte EEPROM-embedded smart card chip in the second quarter of 2005.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?