Chip cards

Smart cards (cards with contact chip)

Smart cards have become increasingly more important these days. Within the card body there is a little silicon with an integrated circuit that enables you to electronically store and process data. This data transmission is then carried out either via a mechanical coupling with the chip contacts or for contactless chip cards through an electromagnetic field.

Memory Cards
Memory cards have a static memory where data can either be stored or read by using an inexpensive commercially available Smartcard reader. The data that is stored on the cards memory can be protected by a pin or password.

Microprocessor cards
Microprocessor cards have a structure like a mini computer, including an area to store data (ROM, RAM, EEPROM), an operating system (OS) and a processor unit. The data that is stored is usually encrypted by a security algorithm i.e. DES, 3DES or RSA. These cards are mainly used for high security applications, digital signatures and authentication purposes. Microprocessor cards are very flexible and allow having different applications on one single card (multi-application card). Microprocessor cards are commonly used in security intensive applications such as Identification, GSM, Health, Credit- and Debit cards.

Hybrid Cards
Hybrid cards are cards which have multiple data storage devices combined e.g. a contact chip and a magnetic stripe or a contactless chip. The data storage devices are not connected with each other and this type of cards is often used in banking applications (bank cards) or for access control.