A smart card or chip card or an embedded integrated circuit chip (ICC) is either a secure equivalent intelligence with internal memory or a micro controller or a memory chip alone. The card connects to a reader with a remote contactless radio frequency interface or with a direct physical contact with an embedded micro controller. Smart cards have an ability to store large amounts of data, interact intelligently with a smart card reader and carry out their own on-card functions. Smart card technology is confirmed only after verifying with the international standards (ISO/IEC 14443 and ISO/IEC 7816) and is available in a variety of form factors including fobs, plastic cards, USB-based tokens and (SIMs) used in GSM mobile phones.
Smart Card Technology
There are two categories of smart cards:
• A contact smart card should be inserted into a smart card reader which is directly connected to a conductive contact plate on the surface of the card. Most of them are gold plated. Transmission of data, commands and card status take place over these physical contact points.
• A contactless card requires close proximity to a reader. Both the card and the reader have antennae, and the two communicate using RF over this contactless link.
Most of the contactless cards derive power for the internal chip from an obtained electromagnetic signal. The range is from one-half to three inches for non-battery-powered cards, ideal for applications such as payment that require a very fast card interface and building entry.
Two additional categories of cards are hybrid cards and dual-interface cards. A hybrid card basically has two chips: one with a contactless interface and one with a contact interface.
The two chips are not interconnected. A dual-interface card has a single chip with both contactless and contact interfaces. With dual-interface cards, it is possible to access the same chip using either a contactless or contact interface with a very high level of security.
The chips used in all of these cards fall into two categories: memory chips and micro controller chips. A memory chip is similar to a small floppy disk with optional security. Memory chips very less expensive than micro controllers, but have a corresponding decrease in data management security. Cards which use memory chips mainly depends upon the ideal of the situations that require low or medium security and on the security of the card reader for processing.
A micro controller chip can delete, add, and otherwise manipulate information in its memory. A micro controller is like a mini computer, with an operating system, input/output port, and hard disk. Smart cards with micro controller have the unique ability to store large amounts of data, interact intelligently with a smart card reader and carry out their own on card functions.
Selection of Smart Crad Technology
The card technology is selected by a variety of issues, including:
Economics of the business model
Strategy for shared application cards
Prevailing market infrastructure
Smart cards are used in many applications across the world like:
1. Pay telephone payment cards
2. GSM Subscriber Identity Modules
1. Physician ID cards,
2. Citizen health ID cards,
3. Portable medical record cards
Secure identity applications
1. Online authentication devices
2. Employee ID badges
3. Electronic passports
4. Citizen ID documents
5. Drivers’ licenses
1. Contactless and contact transit payment cards
2. Contactless and contact credit/debit cards
Smart card are used in biometric application too.
Applications of Smart Crad
Some of the applications are listed below:
• Finger voting system project
• Bus pass with the barcode card scan
• Visual product identification for bling
• Secure ATM uses card scanning pulse OTP
• Student college smart card
• Military access using card scanning with OTP
• Secured lab access using a card scanner plus face recognition
• Employee hourly attendance by barcode scan