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"Coil on Module" chip package could help ramp-up adoption of dual interface smart cards

January 29, 2013 // Julien Happich

Infineon has introduced a 'Coil on Module' chip package that the company says will simplify the assembly and manufacture of dual interface smart cards, for a faster adoption of contactless payment applications.

Dual Interface cards, which are used for both contact-based and contactless applications, are a fast growing segment of the global payments industry. According to market research firm IMS, the share of dual interface cards used in the global payment chip card market could rise from 18.9% in 2012 to 70.5% by 2017 when over 3.5 billion payment and banking cards could be shipping.

Currently, manufacturers of dual interface smart cards have to connect the chip module to the card's embedded antenna via soldered connections or conductive paste.

“Special equipment and rather costly investments are required to make that extra mechanical-electrical connection, and there is a capacity shortage to fulfil the growing market for dual interface cards” explained Thomas Rosteck, Head of the Business Line Secure Mobile & Transaction of Infineon's division Chip Card & Security. “Our 'Coil on Module' solution enables card manufacturers to ramp up volumes with a simplified production process, better yield and overall lower manufacturing costs than with conventional dual interface modules” he added.

The new 'Coil on Module' package combines a security chip and an antenna that makes a radio frequency connection to the antenna embedded on the plastic payment card, through inductive coupling. Thanks to the RF link, the 'Coil on Module' technology removes the need for a mechanical-electrical connection and makes the cards inherently more robust. It also simplifies card design and manufacturing, making it more efficient and up to five times faster than with conventional technologies, according to Infineon.

The new 'Coil on Module' package combines a security chip and antenna that makes a radio frequency (RF) connection to the antenna embedded on the plastic payment card.

The RF coupling technology used between the 'Coil on Module' package and the embedded antenna on the card is not new per se, admitted Rosteck. It took several years for Infineon to develop the 'Coil on Module' package, the technology shares some patents from French start up Smart Packaging Solutions (SPS) -

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