Renesas First to Combine True Smart Card Functions in Flash Memory Cards

5/20/2004 - Renesas Technology Europe announced the industry's first small size flash memory card with smart card functions, which also conforms to "Mobile Commerce Extension Standard" (Mc-EX Standard) *1,2. The memory card provides large 64-Mbyte (MB) capacity and is available in the same form factor as a MultiMediaCardTM (MMC)*3 so that it can fit into MMC/SD memory card compatible sockets found on many mobile products such as PDAs, mobile phones, PCs, digital audio visual devices, and other portable devices. The smart card functionality features a Java Card operating system, hardware TRM (tamper resistant module) and cryptographic functions that can provide hardware level security and multiple application capabilities.

Renesas Technology will carry out further development of a version which also conforms to the SD memory card standard*4, and promote it as "X-Mobile Card" for various applications such as enterprise security and mobile commerce. Full commercial deployment of this Mc-EX and SD standard compliant product is targeted for spring 2005.

Smart cards with embedded microcontrollers, such as credit cards, bank cards, and shopping cards, are becoming increasingly popular. And due to the growing use of Internet access and broadband services for everyday applications such as financial transactions and corporate data access, demand for having smart card functionality in mobile devices such as PCs, PDAs, and mobile phones has rapidly increased. However, conventional smart cards do not have enough memory capacity to store large amounts of data such as application software, databases and video files. Smart card usage on PCs typically requires a special smart card reader/writer for USB or similar connection.

The new memory card with embedded smart card functions can fit in the standard memory card slots already available on many mobile devices, and eliminates the need for any special peripherals such as a reader/writer, or any hardware modifications.

Developer program facilitates hardware/software creation
Renesas Technology has created the X-Mobile Card Developer Program (Web site: to support system hardware and software developers seeking to create secure mobile applications. The program helps application suppliers, system integrators and solution providers take full and quick advantage of the X-Mobile Card technology and platform. The program facilitates the development, deployment and marketing of highly-secure mobile applications that utilize memory expansion slots in millions of PDAs, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and other devices.

By joining the developer program, developers can gain access to up-to-date resources and tools for creating applications on the X-Mobile Card platform, the latest technology and product documentation, and a developer store to purchase development tool kits.

X-Mobile Card is an ideal secure data storage platform for applications that require a high level of security, such as systems in wireless, health care, corporate enterprise, government, e-commerce, transportation, IT security, digital media markets and others.

About Renesas Technology's small flash memory card with Smart card functions

  1. Industry's first small flash memory card incorporating smart card functions
    1. High level security and cryptographic functions are achieved with Renesas' field-proven 16-bit Smart card microcontroller "AE46C", enabling security applications such as authentication, payment, and electronic signature essential for enterprise security and mobile commerce.
    2. Large-capacity flash memory (Renesas Technology AND-type flash memory) allows downloading and recording of large amounts of data, such as databases, video files and application software for information terminals.
  2. Compliance with Mc-Ex Standard
    The new card is the industry's first product to conform to the Mc-Ex Standard extending mobile commerce security specifications for flash memory cards.
  3. Same form factor as MultiMediaCard
    The new card has the same size and form factor as a MultiMediaCard, and can be used in the same way as a standard MultiMediaCard in non-security applications. A card with the same dimensions as a Reduced Size MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC) *5, approximately half the size of a standard MultiMediaCard, has also been developed.
  4. Easy implementation of mobile commerce on mobile devices supporting MMC/SD memory card slots
    Mobile commerce functions can easily be implemented on mobile devices equipped with MMC/SD compatible memory card slots with appropriate drivers and software applications.

About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. designs and manufactures highly integrated semiconductor system solutions for mobile, automotive and PC/AV markets. Established on April 1, 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501, NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TSE:6503) and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Renesas Technology is one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world and world leading microcontroller supplier globally. Besides microcontrollers, Renesas Technology offers system-on-chip devices, Smart Card ICs, mixed-signal products, flash memories, SRAMs and more.


  1. Mobile Commerce Extension Standard:
    A mobile commerce security standard drawn up by five companies - Renesas Technology Corp., Infineon Technology Flash GmbH & Co. KG, Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., Ltd., SanDisk Corporation, and Toshiba Corporation - and announced in July 2002. Integrating large data storage capacity and sophisticated security functions in a single card makes it possible to provide a mobile commerce personal authentication function in addition to audio and similar content protection, enabling cards to be used in mobile phones, PDAs, notebook PCs, and similar devices. The Mobile Commerce Extension Standard can be used with all flash memory cards currently on the market, and is not dependent on a specific operating system, enabling it to be used with products of all kinds.
  2. Mobile commerce:
    Electronic transactions using mobile communication services via mobile phones, etc.
  3. MultiMediaCard (MMC)
    MultiMediaCard is a trademark of the MMCA (MultiMediaCard Association). Renesas Technology Corp is the board member of MMCA.
  4. SD memory card standard:
  5. SD Memory Card is the small size flash memory card specified by SDA (SD card Association). Renesas Technology Corp. is the member of SDA.
  6. Reduced Size MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC):
    RS-MMC is a card approximately half the size (24.0 x 18.0 x 1.4 (mm)) of an MMC (24.0 x 32.0 x 1.4 (mm)), with the same functions, pin count, and thickness as a standard size MMC, and offering MMC compatibility. Use of an adapter available from a third-party vendor enables the external dimensions of an RS-MMC to be made the same as those of a standard size MMC, allowing it to be used in a device designed for MMC use.

* Java Card, Java, and Java related trademarks and logos are trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. of the United States.
* GlobalPlatform is a trademark of GlobalPlatform. GlobalPlatform is a body to define and promote the open platform which is independent from the type of multiple function smart card. It was established in 1999.

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