TDK Begins Volume Production of New Smart Card Interface IC

3/3/2004 - TDK Semiconductor Corporation's new 73S8024R low-cost smart card interface IC has now begun volume production. This device offers industry-leading noise and current performance for use in existing smart card terminal designs for conditional access, payment and identification environments. Pin-for-pin compatible -with one external component swap-with popular TDA8004 and TDA8024 devices, the mixed signal IC provides a stable, low-noise interface implemented as dedicated digital I/Os compliant with the ISO-7816 standard between any host microcontroller and a smart card.

"Our new 73S8024R smart card interface IC sets a new noise and current performance standard in the marketplace by replacing the on-chip step-up converter used in traditional units with a low-drop-out (LDO) voltage regulator," said Jean-Christophe Doucet, product manager at TDK Semiconductor. "By retaining pin-for-pin compatibility with existing components, we provide smart card reader manufacturers with a better performance high-volume source for use in existing reader designs. In addition, we enable an upgrade path for future product offerings with minimal reengineering. In the latter case, the new 73S8024R IC can improve high frequency operation up to 20MHz and boost current draw to as much as 90mA to match the performance demanded by 32-bit processor cards or SAMs (Secure Access Modules) that are becoming increasingly common in the smart card world."

In operation, the new 73S8024R smart cart interface IC translates the digital signals from the host to analog signals recognized by the smart card, and vice versa. This device also provides a stable 3V or 5V VCC power source to the smart card from an on-chip low drop-out voltage regulator, yielding a 10x improvement in noise performance over other solutions in the marketplace that employ step-up DC-DC converters. Use of the LDO regulator also results in much smaller die size and fewer external components than the devices they are designed to replace, leading to lower the overall card interface costs, without requiring smart card terminal redesign.

Doucet noted that the new TDK Semiconductor 73S8024R smart card interface IC would find immediate application in existing Set-Top Boxes, Digital TVs and Personal Video Recorders for conditional access to audio/video content, pay-per-view events or movies, and other premium services. "Existing smart card terminal designs used in payment and digital identification systems will also benefit from the upgraded noise performance and higher current output," he added.

Smart Card Interfaces
The new TDK Semiconductor 73S8024R smart card interface IC supports ISO-7816-3 and EMV-2000 (EMV4.0) electrical requirements and is the most protected device of its class in the market. Additional card protection features are provided to guard against hardware faults and guarantee emergency card deactivation in the event of card extraction, card over-current, supply voltage failure, LDO regulator failure and device overheating. Supply voltage fault can optionally be adjusted to match same operating voltage range as the host microcontroller. Other on-chip resources include a crystal oscillator and circuitry for card clock generation up to 20MHz; an LDO voltage regulator capable of supplying a high current of up to 90mA; and a complete set of buffers for data I/O. Only a single external capacitor is required for operation.

The new 73S8024R smart card interface IC is available off-the-shelf in a SO28 package and can be used as a pin-for-pin replacement in current designs using the TDA8004 and TDA8024. Contact TDK Semiconductor's authorized distributors - Nu Horizons ( and All American ( for further information in the US. Authorized distributors for other countries can be found by visiting the company's web site at Prices for the devices start at $0.95 each in 1k quantities. The device is also available in MLF32 (QFN32) package providing the smallest footprint for this type of device on the market for new smart card terminal designs. Demo boards are available to validate device performance.

About TDK Semiconductor
TDK Semiconductor, part of $5.1 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, credit card verification systems 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.

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