TDK Semiconductor Corp. Introduces First Complete System On a Chip for EMV Smart Card Terminals

1/28/2003 - TDK Semiconductor Corp. announced the availability of a new smart card terminal controller. The 73S1121F is said to be the first true system on a chip for smart card terminals. This new low-cost device integrates all the functionality for implementing a complete range of smart card terminals for network access security, e-purse terminals, payphones, vending machines, and inexpensive POS terminal applications.

The 73S1121F includes an 8052 processor, a USB interface, two built-in smart card interfaces with a dedicated hardware ISO7816 UART, multiple development software layers, extensive I/Os, 64KB of Flash, 4KB of user-RAM, a PIN pad interface, and more on a single chip. This solution will significantly reduce cost and component count for implementing smart card terminals.

"We believe this represents the first complete implementation of a third generation smart card terminal controller," said J.Christophe Doucet, product manager. "First generation systems developed in the mid-90's are separate smart card interface chips connected to a host microcontroller with protocol processing handled through software. Second generation versions are single chip systems, but include relatively few I/O interfaces, not much memory, and limited capabilities overall. Our 73S1121F smart card terminal controller includes all the capabilities required for a terminal designer to develop products that can be used in standalone mode or directly attached to a higher-level controller or PC."

Doucet noted that TDK Semiconductor's single-chip modems and Ethernet transceivers are already widely used in smart card reader applications. "Our new controller will allow us offer a broader range of solutions in the smart card terminal marketplace," he added.

Software Levels
The 73S1121F is designed to ease and expedite a company's entry into the smart card terminal business. A low level Application Programming Interface (API) is provided for device control and a high level API includes protocol layers for both asynchronous cards and full-speed USB, plus PIN-management functions for security and payment applications.

Smart Card Interfaces
The 73S1121F has two built-in ISO7816/EMV smart card interfaces which could be used, for example, to simultaneously connect to a user card and to a Secure Application Module (SAM) for applications such as electronic transactions, e-purse or physical and logical access. The device can be expanded externally to support additional interfaces.

Dedicated Features
On-chip hardware support for a real-time clock is also provided for synchronous cryptographic applications, for example. The chip incorporates an intelligent 5x6 keyboard interface, a USB port, and additional I/Os to connect an external LCD driver. A serial interface allows connection to a PC, to another controller or even to a modem chip such as the 73M2901CL, a TDK Semiconductor low-speed single chip modem widely used in transaction terminal applications. Also included are several analog inputs, reserved user I/O lines, and a GPIO port for connections that require higher voltages than the chip's normal 2.7V to 3.6V range.

Approval Support
TDK Semiconductor offers to help customers through the EMV 2000 Level 1 (EuroPay/MasterCard/Visa) smart card terminal type approval, and provides testing application software. 73S1121F customers will also receive a USB driver sample compatible with the Microsoft® WindowsTM Hardware Quality Laboratory test suite. Support in obtaining approvals is a service which TDK Semiconductor already provides to customers of its modems, Ethernet transceivers, and other mixed-signal products.

73S1121F will be priced at less than $9 in quantity. Samples are available now and production quantities will be available in June.

About TDK Semiconductor Corp.
TDK Semiconductor, part of $4.8 billion TDK Corporation (NYSE: TDK), provides advanced ICs for communications markets worldwide. The company produces analog and mixed-signal products for applications such as digital cable and satellite set-top boxes; local, metro and wide area networking; point of sale terminals, payphones, meters and smart card readers. Additional product information and the name of a local TDK representative can be obtained by visiting the company's web site at, sending an e-mail to or by calling (714) 508-8800.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: