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Getting smarter

Secure micros are finding wider application. By Graham Pitcher.

Secure micros used to have pretty much one application in the past: the so called smart card. By encapsulating the silicon in a credit card shaped piece of plastic, application developers could bring a degree of intelligence and control to financial transactions.
But times change and so too does the number of potential applications for secure micros. Dany Nativel is marketing director with South of France based Innova Card. He said that as we go deeper into the digital era, there is an increasing need for security. “More and more devices are now connected together,” he said, “and networked applications require secure transactions. But there’s also software protection, which is becoming a true challenge, and digital rights management enforcement needs better security.”
Alongside those issues, Nativel pointed to personal privacy, including safeguarding healthcare information and, in certain instances, how you voted. And with the proliferation of biometric passports, there is an issue about how this information is stored and protected.
Whilst the point of sale terminal market has been driving the need for more secure microcontrollers, Innova Card claims tax control, franking machines, transportation and voting machines are just some of the possible end user markets for its technology.

Graham Pitcher

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