Goh Say Yeow, Vice President of the Division Chip Card & Security at Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific
Infineon Technologies will supply the next generation security chips for Singapore's Contactless e-Purse Applications (CEPAS) cards and the Limited Use Transit Tickets used for cashless payment.
Announcing this at a media briefing today, Goh Say Yeow, Vice President of the Division Chip Card & Security at Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific, said the latest generation CEPAS card features Infineon's SLE 77 chip which is based on Solid Flash technology.
Neubiberg, Germany-headquartered Infineon Technologies is Germany's largest and Europe's second largest semiconductor company. The four-billion Euro company has its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore where it employs about 2,000 people.
The first CEPAS cards powered by Infineon chips were introduced by The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore in 2009. Since then, approximately 18 million cards have been issued, the majority of which have been powered by Infineon's chip technology.
The Limited Use Transit Ticket, used for train fare payments, features Infineon's my-d Move, Goh said.
The game changer in this next generation chip SLE 77 is its fast deployment capability and outstanding performance. According to Goh, LTA will take advantage of this innovation to improve operation efficiency, passenger throughput, and the convenience and reliability of the ticketing system.
The earlier chips, Goh explained, were ROM chips which had a three-month production cycle. On the contrary, the new chips are more flexible, faster to produce (with a shorter time to market) and can accommodate a large number of multi-party applications.
The SLE 77 is already certified by CEPAS Compliance Test Centre (CCTC), which gives it an edge over its competitors, he said.
"The SLE 77 controller represents a revolutionary step forward in providing secure, flexible and ease-of-use product with much shorter lead times required by our industry players for go-to-market," Goh said.
Goh hoped that the new Ez-Link cards with SLE 77 chips might be deployed by 2014. Apart from being used for transport purposes, the cards will be linked to 100,000 shops.
He also said that such cards could be useful in cross-border transportation and used in multiple locations, if governments reach agreements. For example, certain Ez-Link cards could be used in both Singapore and Guangzhou in China. Hong Kong's Octopus cards can be used in Shenzhen and Guangzhou in mainland China.
Goh said that contactless cards will grow in usage in the coming years. According to one estimate, it will see 39 percent growth by 2017.
The future, however, belongs to NFC payment mode in which smartphones will play the central role, enabled by telcos, banks, and retailers.
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