Infineon Technologies AG, a worldwide leading manufacturer of semiconductor solutions for payment applications, today introduced its innovative 'Coil on Module' chip package for Dual Interface bank and credit cards. Dual Interface cards, which are used for both contact-based and contactless applications, are a fast growing segment of the global payments industry. The new 'Coil on Module' package combines a security chip and antenna that makes a radio frequency (RF) connection to the antenna embedded on the plastic payment card. Using an RF link rather than the common mechanical-electrical connection between the card antenna and the module, improves the robustness of the payment card and simplifies card design and manufacturing, making it more efficient and up to five times faster than with conventional technologies.
"We expect that worldwide introduction of contactless payment applications will accelerate thanks to our 'Coil on Module' technology," says Stefan Hofschen, President of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies AG. "Using our new chip modules, card manufacturers can manufacture Dual Interface cards much faster and more efficiently than ever before. The innovative 'Coil on Module' package technology underlines Infineon’s technology leadership and is based on extensive semiconductor and module expertise as well as profound understanding of card manufacturers’ systems and requirements," he adds.
The card owner's individual data are stored on the security chip of the Dual Interface card and uploaded in a payment transaction. Dual Interface cards also contain a card antenna which enables them to communicate contactlessly with card readers at the point of sale. In conventional card manufacturing processes, the chip module is connected to the card antenna via mechanical-electrical procedures, e.g. soldering connections or conductive paste. This method is very complex and always requires individual adaptation of the antenna design to the respective chip module.
The 'Coil on Module' technology simplifies this procedure. The antenna integrated on the back of the chip module transmits data to the card antenna using inductive coupling technology, i.e. a radio connection. This makes the card more robust as conventional connections between the chip module and the card antenna which can be damaged by mechanical stress to the card are eliminated. With this approach, card manufacturers can much faster and more economically embed 'Coil on Module' chip modules into the card than conventional Dual Interface modules. In addition, they can use all Infineon chip/module combinations with a universal card antenna whose design parameters were likewise developed by Infineon. This results in reduced complexity of the manufacturing process of Dual Interface cards.
Card manufacturers benefit from 'Coil on Module' package technology in a number of ways:
• Simplified production processes increase yield, consequently decreasing manufacturing costs;
• Existing production plants for contact-based chip cards can be used for Dual Interface cards with no further investments;
• Previous manufacturing methods required adaptation of the card antenna design to the respective chip. Each Infineon ‘Coil on Module’ chip/module combination now uses the same type of card antenna. This reduces the card manufacturer's design and testing expenses and simplifies stock management;
• By using inductive coupling technology, the chip module can be implanted into the card up to five times faster than with conventional production methods.
Infineon's 'Coil on Module' chip package is firstly available for bank and credit cards. However, it is also suitable for other types of Dual Interface smart cards such as electronic access controls, public transport ticketing and electronic identity documents.
According to IMS Research, an IHS company, the share of dual interface cards used in the global payment chip card market stood at 19 percent, or 672 million, at the end of 2012. This forecast is to grow rapidly over the next five years rising to 71 percent, or 6.1 billion, by the end of 2017.
'Coil on Module' chip packages are now available as samples.
Security for the connected world
Based on its core competencies in the fields of security, contactless communication and integrated microcontroller solutions, Infineon offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor-based security products for many chip card and security applications. Infineon uses this expertise to increase security in an increasingly connected world, e.g. mobile payments, system security and secure electronic sovereign documents. Infineon has developed innovative, hardware-based security solutions for over 25 years and has been the global market leader for 15 years. Further information on Infineon's chip card and security solutions is available under infineon.com/chip-card-and-security.
Infineon Technologies AG (infineon.com), Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2012 fiscal year (ending September 30), the Company reported sales of Euro 3.9 billion with close to 26,700 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).
Information Number: INFCCS201301.023