ST Debuts Dual-Interface Secure MCUs for e-Passport, ID Card Programs

STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a market leader in secure microcontrollers for more than 25 years, today announced a new dual-interface secure microcontroller, with 66-Kbytes of embedded EEPROM, which is designed to give improved performance in e-Passport, ID Card and related applications. The dual interface allows operation in both contact and contactless applications and the new ST19NR66 builds on the success of ST’s earlier ST19WR66, which was released two years ago, with higher clock speed, lower power consumption, and a smaller die size, to meet the latest packaging requirements.

The ST19NR66 is manufactured using an advanced and highly reliable 0.15-micron technology, and is fully compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements for the storage of biometric records and personal information. It offers governments, system integrators, and inlay makers a secure, interoperable solution with best-in-class performance.

In the industry-wide e-Passport Interoperability Test Event, held in June 2006 in Berlin, Germany, the new ST device achieved excellent results and was fully interoperable with all available ICAO-compliant contactless readers. Transaction time for a typical e-Passport application was reduced to less than three seconds, using the Basic Access Control cryptographic scheme.

The ST19NR66 includes a 1088-bit Modular Arithmetic Processor (MAP) for public-key cryptography, an enhanced DES (eDES) engine, and AES-128 (Advanced Encryption Services) software-library capability. These advanced cryptographic features provide applications with rapid data encryption/decryption functions, essential for the storage of sensitive personal data records, for authentication and for providing digital signatures.

224-Kbytes of user ROM are provided for storing the operating system and program code. The 6Kbytes of user RAM, combined with the processing power of the advanced 8-bit secure MCU, enable the fast data processing that is essential for rapid passport and ID card personalization during manufacture, and for fast ID verification in the field. ST’s experience in supplying RFID interfaces meeting ISO14443-B has enabled the provision of a high-speed 848-kbit/s interface in the ST19NR66 for contactless operation, further reducing testing and personalization time and speeding up verification of electronic documents at border controls.

“ST is making dramatic progress in introducing the secure products the industry needs for leading-edge identification products,” said Claude Dardanne, General Manager of ST’s Digital Secure Access Division. “The ST19NR66 offers the security, performance, and features to suit important high-security identification programs.”

ST’s proven silicon technology, world-class manufacturing capability, and experience as a long-term leader in this market make it an ideal partner for major government projects such as ID cards and passports. The company is involved in some of the world’s leading and most innovative government-sponsored programs, including the pioneering Juki card program in Japan, which uses the ST19XR34 secure dual-interface MCU; the Indian driving license; the French health card scheme; and ID cards in Italy, Spain, Malaysia and Thailand.

The ST19NR66 is ready to ship now for e-Passport program startups. Volume production of the qualified product, certified to ISO15408 ‘Common Criteria’ Evaluation Assurance Level EAL5+ (Augmented), is planned for Q3 2006. In addition to the chip, delivery will include contactless packaging meeting ICAO specifications.

About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the Company’s net revenues were $8.88 billion and net earnings were $266 million.