Atmel First to Receive EAL4+ Certification for Flash Smart Card IC

12/1/2003 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced that its AT90SC3232CS crypto-controller has been granted Common Criteria certification to EAL4+ (Augmented to AVA-VLA.4. This vulnerability assessment corresponds to today's highest known proven resistance against any security attack).

The AT90SC3232CS developed primarily for the high security smart card market, features 32K Flash program memory with 32K EEPROM and 3K RAM. It shares the same common features of Atmel's secureAVRTM family including its outstanding 8- /16-bit RISC microcontroller performance and a host of strong security mechanisms, including firewalls and two cryptographic co-processors, one for asymmetric algorithms (RSA, DSA, Elliptic curves) and one for DES/Triple DES. It also has the addition of an SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) port to provide additional features for secure embedded and other smart applications. This product has been designed into banking, government, pay-TV and transport applications where high security tamper-resistant designs are a pre-requisite for selection.

Atmel believes its AT90SC3232CS is the industry's first flash-based secure microcontroller to achieve EAL4+ certification. Flash technology has long been recognised as a benefit for faster time to market. This is achieved through shorter development time and reduced pre-production fabrication cycle times, by eliminating ROM masking. This allows rapid ramp-up of production output. It also has an additional advantage of being ideally suitable for non-card applications also. Ian Duthie, Atmel's smart card IC Marketing Manager, explained "As vendors manage technology shrinks for more competitive advantage, the more die per wafer results in very high minimum order quantities for mask ROM products to stay cost effective. This makes it very difficult for customers such as secure terminal or reader manufacturers and other 'non card' manufacturers requiring secure products, who do not share the same high volume needs as card manufacturers. Managing costs and inventories can become a major problem with mask ROM for these type of applications. A secure Flash microcontroller is their natural choice. The EAL4 augmentation to AVA-VLA.4 certificate now removes any doubt from those in the smart card industry who have previously questioned Flash technology as a suitable secure replacement to ROM technology".

This certification has been awarded by the French administration, Direction Centrale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d'Information (DCSSI). Common Criteria certification is rapidly becoming recognised as the world-wide standard for smart card security, especially for government applications.

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

Atmel, AVR, the Atmel logo and combinations thereof are registered trademarks and others contained herein are trademarks of Atmel Corporation.

For more information on the AT90SC3232CS, please visit Atmel's website at

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