10/31/2002 - STMicroelectronics, a world leader in smart card integrated circuits, and Fujitsu, a world leader in the development and production of FRAM (Ferroelectric RAM), announced that they have teamed up to develop the ST19ZR01, the first contactless smart card IC using FRAM in place of EEPROM and static RAM. A demonstrator product, which includes an on-board library of certified cryptographic algorithms, will be marketed through ST starting Q4 2002.
The newly developed product combines the unrivalled security and market acceptance of ST's ST19 smart card platform with the high speed and lower power consumption benefits of Fujitsu's FRAM technology, making it particularly attractive in applications such as transport ticketing and personal ID cards.
The ST19ZR01 provides all of the security benefits of ST's ST19 platform, which was the first in the world to be certified under the recently developed ISO15408 standard (also known as the Common Criteria). These include a hardware DES accelerator for fast cryptographic operations and built-in security firewalls for the on-chip memories and DES accelerator. In addition, the ST19ZR01 is also fully compliant with the ISO 14443 Type B contactless standard, offering a data transfer capability up to 424 Kbps.
FRAM technology exhibits major benefits of very fast read and write times (less than 200ns) and extremely low standby current (a few microamps), thereby achieving lower power consumption and faster write times than the traditional EEPROM technology.
The ST19ZR01 incorporates 1.5KBytes of FRAM memory, which also provides very high data retention reliability in excess of 10 years. The FRAM cell structure currently used in the ST19ZR01 consists of two transistors and two ferroelectric film capacitors. In the near future, a new cell design featuring one transistor and one capacitor will be introduced, enabling a significant reduction in die size and cost.
"The proven ST19 platform, based upon successive generations of ST's proprietary EEPROM technology, has been widely used over a number of years in GSM, Banking, Health and in many other applications. The addition of FRAM, which offers many advantages for contactless applications such as mass transit, will open up new perspectives and opportunities," said Maurizio Felici, Group Vice President and General Manager of ST's Smartcard Division.
"Fujitsu has been developing FRAM technology since 1996 and was the very first semiconductor manufacturer to establish an embedded FRAM process. With three years of experience in mass production since 1999, we have proven that FRAM can bring revolutionary benefits to the contactless smart card and other key markets," said Dr. Hidetoshi Nishi, General Manager of the FRAM Division of Fujitsu's Electronic Devices Group.
"The ST19ZR01, the result of a fruitful collaboration between ST and Fujitsu, constitutes clear proof of the acceptance of FRAM technology by ST, a world-leading provider of smart card ICs. This success will open a broaden field of applications to which FRAM will add significant value," confirmed Amane Inoue, Managing Director of Fujitsu's FRAM Center, located in Paris.
STMicroelectronics, the world's third largest semiconductor company, 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 2001, the Company's net revenues were $6.36 billion and net earnings were $257.1 million.
Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts make Fujitsu uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the broadband Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.
1. FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory):
A non-volatile memory device, using ferroelectric materials that is able to retain data even when the power is removed. FRAM may be written at high speeds and rewritten numerous times with very low power consumption.
2. FRAM is a registered trademark of Ramtron International Corporation.
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