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New NXP security chip breaks speed record for eGovernment transactions


Latest SmartMX chip runs EAC ePassport operation in only 3.5 seconds and features enhanced protection against fault attacks

Eindhoven, Netherlands. - NXP Semiconductors today announced its latest SmartMX security chip, the P5CD081, the industry’s highest performance contactless IC for ePassport and electronic identification applications. The P5CD081 processes transactions twice as fast as the current industry standard for contactless smart card chips, and offers the highest security level with an EAL5+ level Common Criteria certification. Worldwide, NXP is involved in more than 85 percent of all ePassport schemes with 51 out of 60 countries using NXP smart chip technology including US, France, Germany and Singapore.

The new SmartMX is also the first smart card controller to feature Secure Fetch™ Technology, which significantly enhances the chip hardware security. This unique security technology from NXP offers increased protection against attack scenarios with light and lasers (so-called fault attacks), thereby greatly facilitating the development of highly secure software applications for customers.

“As the market leader in ePassports, NXP has a strong understanding of governmental application dynamics. A growing number of countries are introducing chips into government documents to enhance security and offer advanced functionality that was previously not possible with paper-based documents,” said Günter Schlatte, general manager, eGovernment, NXP Semiconductors. “Our new SmartMX chip was developed through in-depth consultation with customers, and offers a flexible solution for high-security, high-speed governmental applications such as ePassports, eID cards, electronic health cards and drivers licenses.”

The P5CD081 dual interface smart card controller addresses the needs of advanced eGovernment applications requiring enhanced security, more data and faster transmission rates. The strong computing capabilities of the new SmartMX chip double the speed of authentication, significantly accelerating ePassport transaction times at border control. In recent tests the P5CD081 has set a new industry benchmark by running the Extended Access Control (EAC) ePassport operation with the complete citizen dataset, including fingerprints, in only 3.5 seconds. Due to its fast performance, the chip is also specifically suited for sophisticated eID applications, such as secure electronic signatures for transactions via the internet.

For existing customers, the P5CD081 offers full compatibility with previous SmartMX chips, retaining the existing IC platform while adding a much faster CPU. This allows customers to leverage their existing designs easily on the latest SmartMX chip, without the need for bigger adaptations on their operating system.

The new SmartMX supports ICAO standards, enabling the implementation of BAC (Basic Access Control) and EAC (Extended Access Control), and includes an embedded crypto co-processor fully compliant with the European Citizen Card requirements.


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