NDS Group Approves TDK's 73S8024R Smart Card Interface ICs

4/22/2004 - TDK Semiconductor Corporation’s 73S8024R low-cost smart card interface IC is now approved in accordance with NDS requirements assuring operability of the device within set-top boxes, digital TVs and Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) that use NDS VideoGuard® -- the world’s leading conditional access software solution for pay-TV content delivery security. With this approval, more than 35 set-top box manufacturers can now use the TDK 73S8024R in their products.

“NDS approval represents a major milestone for TDK Semiconductor’s efforts in the smart card industry,” said Jean-Christophe Doucet, product manager at TDK Semiconductor. “With its superior noise and current performance and low cost, we expect the TDK 73S8024R smart card interface IC to achieve a leadership position in the set-top box marketplace over the next several months.”

According to Peter Yaxley, manager of consumer devices for NDS, “The approval of the TDK 73S8024R smart card interface IC confirms that the device is suitable for all set-top boxes that employ NDS VideoGuard® conditional access software operating with smart cards operating at up to 13.5MHz. As part of the approval process, NDS was involved with TDK Semiconductor in all aspects of the device development. TDK Semiconductor has worked hard through the entire process, and our set-top box customers can now be confident the TDK 73S8024R smart card interface IC will meet their performance expectations.”

In operation, the TDK 73S8024R smart card interface IC translates the digital signals from the host to analog signals recognized by the smart card, and vice versa. Doucet explained that this device 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, while boosting current draw to as much as 90 mA. By retaining pin-for-pin compatibility with existing components, using the TDK 73S8024R in a set-top box smart card reader requires changing the value of a single capacitor only.

Smart Card Interfaces
In addition to NDS approval, the 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; 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 TDK 73S8024R smart card interface IC is available off-the-shelf in SO28 and QFN32 packages, the former for use as a pin-for-pin replacement in current designs employing the TDA8004, and the latter -- the smallest footprint for this type of device on the market -- for new designs that can take advantage of a significant savings in board space. Prices for the devices start at $0.95 each in 1k quantities. Contact TDK Semiconductor’s authorized distributors – Nu Horizons (http://www.nuhorizons.com) and All American (http://www.allamerican.com) for further information in the US. Authorized distributors for other countries can be found by visiting the company’s web site at http://www.tdksemiconductor.com. An Application Note dedicated to NDS applications and demo boards are available upon request to validate device performance.

About NDS
NDS Group plc (NASDAQ/Euronext Brussels: NNDS) is a leading supplier of open end-to-end digital pay TV solutions for secure delivery of entertainment and information to television set-top boxes and IP devices. See www.nds.com for more information on the company and its products.

About TDK Semiconductor Corp.
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 www.tdksemiconductor.com, sending an e-mail to support@tdksemiconductor.com or by calling (714) 508-8800.

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