Security IC chosen by Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)

NXP, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, today announced that its secure contactless microcontroller chip – SmartMX, has been selected by the VDV-Kernapplikations GmbH & Co. KG, to power future electronic transport ticketing schemes in Germany. Alongside card and inlay-manufacturer Cardag, NXP will provide SmartMX ICs for around eight million contactless cards to be issued throughout Germany by 2012. The aim of the scheme is to provide a single ticketing solution that will be used across all nationwide transport networks.  

The SmartMX-powered electronic ticketing platform will now be deployed by transport companies throughout the country, helping improve operational efficiencies, while enhancing passengers’ overall travel experience through convenient and secure contactless ticketing across Germany’s diverse public travel system.  

NXP’s contactless microcontroller technology will be integrated in smart cards created and personalized by Cardag, and is fully compliant with the VDV-Kernapplikation (Core Application), the national data and interface standard defined for contactless ticketing and automatic fare collection in Germany. The development of the standard was driven by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs to ensure standardized electronic tickets in a range of formats such as smart cards, bank cards and mobile devices would be fully interoperable for use within public transport schemes throughout the country and internationally.  

“Our vision is to provide passengers with a convenient and secure electronic ticket that can be used on any public transport scheme across Germany,” said Jozef (Sjef) A. L. Janssen, general manager VDV-Kernapplikations GmbH & Co. KG, who is leading the implementation of the new transportation standard. “Having initially defined the core VDV-Kernapplikation standard, we needed to find a technology solution that would unify and enhance operations in each of the schemes, while delivering the best possible travel experience. The SmartMX-based platform from Cardag and NXP provides for this tender the optimal solution, proven in deployments worldwide and offers enhanced security and interoperability with contactless interface standards.”  

“The latest roll-out across Germany is yet another example of the global demand for leading NXP smart chip solutions that can both improve the effectiveness of mass transportation schemes and deliver an unsurpassed passenger experience,” said Henri Ardevol, general manager, Automatic Fare Collection, NXP. “We are delighted that German transport operators and passengers will benefit from the advanced security, performance and reliability that our contactless microcontroller ICs deliver. We will continue supporting them to evaluate new future advancements, such as mobile ticketing based on Near Field Communication technology.”  

“Winning this tender in an extremely competitive environment confirms the leading position of Cardag as manufacturer of contactless smart cards for electronic ticketing projects in Germany.” said Hans-Dieter Knapp, CEO at Cardag Deutschland GmbH. “By successfully supplying more than 2 million cards for major projects with VDV-Kernapplikation technology over the last two years, we have proven the outstanding quality of our products.”  

NXP’s SmartMX chips comply with the strict security standards demanded by VDV, including public key cryptography based on the RSA algorithm. The chips comprise a number of unique security features, such as the recently introduced Secure Fetch™ technology – which guards against light and lasers attack scenarios and a dedicated hardware firewall to protect specific sections of the chip.  

NXP is the market leader for contactless smart card ICs and its use within transport networks. The company’s range of contactless microcontroller chips, including MIFARE DESFire, MIFARE Plus and SmartMX are currently deployed throughout a wide range of contactless security applications globally including banking, access management, eGovernment programs and automatic fare collection.