Drexler Technology Corporation has received its second purchase order for
100,000 LaserCard optical memory cards for the Government of Italy’s
Italian Electronic Identity Card (IEIC) national ID card/social services
Shipments of the 100,000 “microchip ready” Smart/Optical LaserCard
optical memory cards are expected to begin this quarter. Drexler completed
shipment of the earlier 100,000 IEIC card order in January 2001.
Under the emerging IEIC program, the central and municipal public
administrations in Italy would select the specific types of services to be
offered with the IEIC card. The Italian government has indicated that the
national services offered through the IEIC cards may include healthcare,
voting, and social security, while municipal local services may include
transportation and education.
Drexler’s “microchip ready” cards contain a 16mm-wide optical memory
stripe and have a designated space for insertion of a computer microchip.
The Italian government will arrange to have Siemens’ microchips inserted
into the optical memory cards, thereby creating a combination smart
card/optical memory card. The optical stripe will be used to provide the
high security electronic identity data, to record transaction process
history and provide a data backup, to store large amounts of data, and to
provide a visual embedded “ID hologram.” The microchip will be used to
provide electronic identification, authentication, and communication
security for network transactions. The combination card, known in Italy as
the “carta d’identita elettronica,” also can be used to provide digital
signatures and a variety of e-services.
The Italian ID/social services card is an example of a “digital
governance” application, which represents Drexler’s principal LaserCard
market today. “Digital governance” means the utilization of digital
information technology to facilitate or expedite the process of governing
by a nation, state, region, municipality, agency, institution, or
commercial enterprise. The card is used as proof that the cardholder has a
formal permission, privilege, or right from the card issuer. The
LaserCard’s high-security features inhibit counterfeiting and data
tampering and provide controlled access to the benefits granted by the card
Other examples of digital governance applications for which LaserCard
optical memory cards have been sold include the right to reside and work in
another country, cross a national border, receive medical care, convey
import privileges, register motor vehicles, construct buildings, utilize
expensive medical equipment on a pay-per-use basis, obtain automobile
maintenance services, deploy military cargo using paperless manifests, or
obtain certain purchasing or tax benefits.
Headquartered in Mountain View, Drexler Technology Corporation
(www.lasercard.com) develops and manufactures optical data storage products
and systems, including LaserCard(R) optical memory cards and chip-ready
Smart/Optical(TM) cards. Its wholly owned subsidiary, LaserCard Systems
Corporation, makes optical card read/write drives, develops optical card
system software, and markets card-related data systems and peripherals.