Strong Interest in NXP’s Latest Secure Microcontroller IC for Contactless Applications

Eindhoven, Netherlands, June 16th, 2010 – NXP Semiconductors today announced that its contactless microcontroller IC, MIFARE Plus™, has been adopted by the Turkish highway card-based automated toll scheme, Kartli Geçis Sistemi (KGS). This high-profile volume rollout implemented by the Turkish system integrator Aselsan will see NXP supplying over two million MIFARE Plus chips for the scheme annually. KGS is the most recent example of how NXP’s contactless MIFARE Plus technology is being embraced globally.  

Since its release in 2009, NXP’s MIFARE Plus has introduced new standards of security and privacy to contactless smart card systems. Designed to offer a smooth upgrade path from MIFARE Classic™, MIFARE Plus enables system integrators to add in additional security features and functionality into existing MIFARE™ applications. MIFARE Plus has seen significant growth in various security sensitive applications, such as public transport ticketing schemes, road tolling, loyalty cards, closed loop micro payment and access management in the public and private sector.

 Launched in 2003, Turkey’s contactless highway toll collection system covers 1800 kilometres of motorways and bridges, and carries in excess of 150 million vehicles annually. As longstanding users of MIFARE technology, in January 2010, the highway toll operator embarked on a project to migrate the contactless smart card scheme to a MIFARE Plus-based system. The systems integrator driving the project, Aselsan, will conduct a phased approach and gradually turn on the various security features enabled by the reader infrastructure upgrade plan. The respective card and prelam production as well as programming services are being provided by SMARTRAC and Plastkart.

 “The KGS system is a major initiative throughout Turkey, and involves a diverse number of stakeholders including banks to ensure seamless service delivery to the end user. As a result, the security of the application is paramount,” said Ahmet Harkota of Aselsan. “When looking to update the security of the KGS automatic fare collection system, MIFARE Plus was the obvious choice – as well as providing a number of independently verified security features, the new IC provides a seamless upgrade path, eliminating the need for any complex modifications to upgrade the system.”

 “MIFARE Plus is an important addition to the MIFARE technology portfolio. Since the launch of the product, we have seen a fast adoption from the existing MIFARE customer base, such as KGS, looking to upgrade existing applications,” said Henri Ardevol, general manager secure transactions, NXP Semiconductors. “To date NXP has worked with over 320 partner companies worldwide to support the adoption of MIFARE Plus, which is now shipping in million units.”  

MIFARE Plus technology features 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and supports migration from existing MIFARE ClassicTM implementations. The contactless microcontroller IC offers an upgrade path for system integrators and operators wishing to implement additional layers of security to their automatic fare collection, access management and micro-payment installations. In addition, the product has received Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification by the German Federal Office for Information Security, and has undergone thorough security and privacy assessment by the Universities of Bochum and Leuven.