Low power contactless smart card is ISO/IEC14443A and ISO/IEC15693 compliant

February 26, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
EM Microelectronic, part of the Swatch Group, has released EM4333, a new generation, low power contactless smart card, designed to fulfill the specific needs of secure access control, public transportation, loyalty cards, electronic door locks or leisure park applications.

The dual ISO/IEC14443A and ISO/IEC15693 compliant transponder enables to merge vicinity and proximity applications on the same media card using the same antenna and offering the maximum of RF performances.

The circuit’s low power consumption allows operating in field strengths down to 0.05 A/m for ISO/IEC15693 and 0.5 A/m for the ISO/IEC14443A interface.

The EM4333 implements an enhanced auto-detection mechanism enabling to distinguish whether a command sent by the RFID reader is following ISO/IEC15693 or ISO/IEC14443A protocol.

An embedded accurate field strength detector ensures that the ISO/IEC14443 part is powered only in strong field conditions thus ensuring the range of ISO/IEC15693 is not affected by the high speed ISO/IEC14443A mode.

The vicinity interface VICC supports all modes specified by the ISO/IEC15693-2/3 standards, including all mandatory, most optional, and in addition a number of custom commands. The ISO/IEC15693 communication channel provides security based on Grain 128A, a public stream cipher which uses 128-bit keys, supports three pass mutual authentication, secure messaging and message authentication code (MAC).

The proximity RF interface is configurable by software and supports ISO/IEC 14443A with data transfer rates up to 848k bps. The ISO/IEC14443A is operated by an 8051 CPU providing full flexibility given by customer operating software. The core offers AES-128, DES/3-DES and DMA coprocessors.

The CPU is software compatible with the industry standard 8051 8-bit microprocessor, to guarantee the maximum reuse of software. The hardware implementation of the core is a modern design not relying on microcode.

The EM4333 offers 4 kilobytes of user data EEPROM that can be shared between ISO/IEC15693 and ISO/IEC14443A. Both protocols can access the same data from different applications.

The chip offers also 64 kilobytes of code EEPROM to host the Operating System and any data that does not require regular updating (e.g. pictures), accessible through ISO/IEC14443A protocol.

Powerful development tools are fully integrated into Keil’s µVision 3/4 environment providing an efficient and user friendly development platform. An EMX43 emulator