Addressing the increasing security needs and concerns of manufacturers and users of smart cards in financial, mCommerce, and health, among many other applications, Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. today announced its AE-5 (Advanced Engine) family of high-end 32-bit smart card controllers. These high performance controllers offer strong protection of on-chip data, advanced screening techniques against information leakage attacks and improved integration of security between different parts of the chip. The AE-5 series also supports multi-application cards based on sophisticated operating systems such as Java Card and Multos. They make Hitachi the only semiconductor manufacturer offering a complete object-code-compatible smart card controller lineup: the 8-bit AE-3 series chips, the 16-bit AE-4 series devices, and the new 32-bit AE-5 series controllers.
Smarter chips for smart cards
According to Sami Nassar, director of strategic marketing at Hitachi Semiconductor (America), ‘The demand for smart cards in the U.S. has been rapidly growing, due to the increased adoption of smart cards in TDMA and CDMA mobile communication technologies and smart cards reaching critical levels of momentum in the credit card and banking markets. The AE-5 leverages the extensive design, process technology and production expertise we gained over the past 15 years producing smart card ICs for mobile communication and financial markets. ‘
‘In addition to Hitachi’s solid foothold in the European market, Hitachi has established a strong U.S. smart card organization dedicated to boosting usage in North America and helping new and existing customers accelerate smart card adoption.’
0.18 micron EEPROM process, a world’s first The 32-bit smart card controllers in the AE-5 family are the first in the industry being produced with a 0.18-micron (0.18-Âµm) EEPROM process. This smaller-geometry technology allows the high-capacity on-chip memory essential for top-end applications. The first chips the AE-5 family offer up to 128 kilobytes (128 KB) of EEPROM, 256 KB ROM, and 10 KB RAM, as well as a range of peripheral functions.
Devices in the AE-5 family are object code compatible with AE-4 series card controllers for versatility and to preserve previous engineering investments. Major improvements include 32-bit CPU cores that can run Java virtual engines and deliver much higher speeds: 10 times faster than the fourth-generation chips on an absolute timing basis.
Better functionality, greater security
For enhanced functionality and security, AE-5 series controllers have a special, built-in cryptographic co-processor that allows key sizes up to 2112 bits long, sufficient for asymmetric algorithms, as well as a new hardware module that implements the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm. The devices’ fast processing makes sophisticated verification or encryption operations practical. For example, the AE-5 chips can perform a 1024-bit RSA calculation in less than 120 ms.
AE-5 devices will be available from H2/2002.
Reader contact Readers can find additional product and contact information on Hitachi Semiconductor’s Website at [http://semiconductor.hita chi.com/smartcard.html] or by calling (800) 285-1601.
About Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc.
Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., supports the requirements of the North American marketplace with a broad range of standard and low-power semiconductor solutions. Offering some of the industry’s most popular RISC microprocessors, smart-card controllers and memory components, among other semiconductor solutions, Hitachi provides chips to the world’s leading device manufacturers within industrial, consumer and emerging market applications. Hitachi’s substantial design engineering, research and development facilities in the United States help bring the world’s best technology to U.S. customers. For more information, visit: .