Philips' MIFARE DESFire Contactless Smart Card Chip Secures NASA

8/2/2004 - Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Philips' advanced MIFARE® DESFire contactless chip technology to enable secure smart card access to its facilities. Compliant with the United States government's Government Smart Card Interoperability Specification (GSC-IS) standard, Philips' chip technology is being incorporated into smart cards deployed to agency employees and contractors for immediate identity authentication. Other government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Interior, are also implementing physical access systems compliant with the GSC-IS interoperability specification. Philips' MIFARE DESFire V0.6 is the first chip solution currently compliant with this specification.

In partnership with smart card system integrator MAXIMUS, NASA is the latest federal agency to move from low-frequency (125Khz) to industry-standard ISO 14443 technology for increased interoperability based on GSC-IS. Different agencies using a GSC-IS compliant physical access system based on the secure MIFARE DESFire will have the option to allow each other's physical access cards to work in different secure areas, further enhancing inter-agency collaboration.

A field trial is planned at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama this summer, with potential expansion to 2,000 employees. If the trial is successful and approval is secured from the Office of Management and Budget, NASA plans to deploy more than 100,000 smart cards before the end of the 2005 fiscal year. This number includes cards for contractors and government employees.

"Security is at the forefront of concern for our government customers today," said Jeremy Grant, vice president, enterprise solutions, MAXIMUS. "Agencies do not want to invest in systems that will not be interoperable. Through our partnership with NASA and Philips we are developing advanced smart card access control systems that will be able to work seamlessly with other federal department and agency facilities following the GSC-IS."

"Philips' proven MIFARE DESFire offers a secure and cost-effective solution for high volume use," explained Jan-Willem Reynaerts, general manager for market sector Transport and Logistics at Philips Semiconductors. "As the provider of the first GSC-IS compliant chip solution, Philips continues to be a leading innovator in the contactless smart card market, and demonstrated proponent of open standards."

About Philips' MIFARE DESFire
Philips' MIFARE DESFire provides a convenient, multi-functional smart card silicon solution ideal for mobility, identity and e-government schemes. The chip's core characteristics - Fast, Innovative, Reliable, and sEcure, as noted in the "Fire" part of its name - are supported by a unique combination of flexible memory organization structure alongside impressive high data transaction rates, making it ideal for secure contactless services.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of EUR 29 billion in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patients monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 164,500 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at

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