Infineon will supply contactless security microcontrollers for India’s electronic passport program. The rollout has started with the issuance of electronic passports to Indian diplomats and officials, and it is expected that in this first phase, up to thirty thousand electronic passports shall be issued.
By September 2009, the program is likely to be expanded to include passports used by the general public. Approximately six million passports are being annually issued in India.
Designed to facilitate international travel by allowing automatic identity verification, fast immigration inspections combined with efficient border protection and security, the new electronic passports include a security microcontroller in the back cover of the passport that securely stores the same information that is printed on the document.
In addition to India, Infineon supplies its security microcontrollers to many other countries for use in electronic passports including the USA, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Ivory Coast.
The India electronic passport project utilizes Infineon SLE 66CLX800PE security microcontroller, which was specifically designed for use in electronic passports, identity cards, e-government cards and payment cards. The security microcontroller features a crypto-coprocessor and can operate at very high transaction speeds of up to 848 kbits/s even if elevated encryption and decryption operations have to be calculated. In addition, the SLE 66CLX800PE offers all contactless proximity interfaces on a single chip: the ISO/IEC 14443 Type B interface and Type A interface which are both used for communication between electronic passports and the respective readers, and the ISO/IEC 18092 passive mode interface which is used in transport and banking applications mainly in Japan.
The SLE 66CLX800PE features 80 kilobytes (kb) of EEPROM, 240 kb of ROM, and 6 kb of RAM. With its tailored set of EEPROM/ROM and RAM memory sizes, the SLE 66CLX800PE adheres to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) requirements for the secure storage of the biometric and personal data in travel documents.
The SLE 66PE contactless controller family, which includes the SLE 66CLX800PE, is certified according to Common Criteria EAL 5+ high (BSI-PP-0002 protection profile) security certification. Infineon’s security in microcontrollers used in electronic passports builds on underlying hardware-based integral security, with data encryption, memory firewall system and other security mechanisms to safeguard the privacy of data.
The SLE 66PE product family comprises a whole product portfolio designed for use in basic-security to high-security smart card systems, with EEPROM sizes ranging from 4 kb to 144 kb and covering different applications including government ID, transportation and payment.