Electronic Design

Smart-Card Reader Chip Lowers Reader-System Cost

A microcontroller specifically designed for use in portable smart-card readers allows cardholders to check the balance of their electronic purses, while storing loyalty cards, phone cards, and similar smart-card applications. The ST72C411 does this by integrating all of the required silicon functions, including the microcontroller, with ROM or flash program memory, an LCD driver, versatile I/O peripherals, timers, and a dedicated smart-card interface circuit.

It also packs all of the analog functions that are implemented today with standard linear ICs and discrete components. The only required external components are the battery and a small LCD display, dramatically reducing the bill of materials and the manufacturing cost. Via software, designers can set various features, as well as the smart-card supply voltage (3 or 5 V). A new generation of ST72 emulators based on active probes supports the device. These emulators use real silicon to obtain the highest emulation coverage, including the analog functions.

Production of the ST72C411 flash version will begin during the second quarter of this year. It will sell for $1.70 apiece in OEM quantities.

STMicroelectronics Inc., Lexington Corporate Center, 10 Maguire Rd., Bldg. 1, Third floor, Lexington, MA 02421; (781) 861-2650; fax (781) 861-2678; www.st.com.

TAGS: Components
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