Singapore government uses NXP Semiconductors secure smart chip technology for e-passport roll-out

NXP Semiconductors, the newly independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, today announced that Singapore’s biometric passports, fully implemented in August 2006, utilizes its industry-leading secure contactless smart card chip technology. The new passports have been issued to comply with the recommendations and requirements laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The Common Criteria EAL5+ security certified NXP SmartMX chip technology embedded in the new Singaporean passports is secured by highly advanced encryption hardware – and physical hacking counter measures – to meet the sophisticated demands of security-sensitive markets such as eGovernment and banking. It will be used to protect and store unique biometric information, reducing the fraud and forgery of travel documents and enhancing security for travelers. The chips for this implementation will be manufactured by Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC), a Singapore-based producer of advanced semiconductor wafers.

“Interoperability and security of electronic travel documents are must-haves for governments. Any e-passport project must deliver both, as these are crucial to ensuring public acceptance of this new means of secure identification. The use of NXP’s secure technology for Singapore’s e-passports is a rousing testimony that we can deliver both,” said Christophe Duverne, vice president and general manager for Identification, NXP Semiconductors. “Technology should simplify consumer’s lives, and e-passports are a good example of how that can be achieved. They enable greater levels of security than offered by current passports and, boost traveler safety; e-passports also allow governments to better protect their borders.”

NXP’s technology is the industry’s leading choice for secure e-passports with more than 80 percent of all smart passport implementations globally; it encompasses currently 30 governments, including US, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, France and Singapore. NXP has been instrumental in developing passport chip solutions to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards, designed around current and future security needs for travelers and governments.