Terminal on a chip

The new 73S1121F chip from TDK Semiconductor integrates all the necessary functionality to allow a designer to build a range of smart card terminals.

The device includes an 8052 processor, a USB interface, two built-in smart card interfaces with a dedicated hardware ISO7816 UART, multiple development software layers, extensive I/Os, 64KB of Flash, 4KB of user-RAM, and a PIN pad interface.

‘We believe this represents the first complete implementation of a third generation smart card terminal controller,’ said J.Christophe Doucet, TDK’s product manager.

‘First generation systems developed in the mid-90’s are separate smart card interface chips connected to a host microcontroller with protocol processing handled through software. Second generation versions are single chip systems, but include relatively few I/O interfaces, not much memory, and limited capabilities overall. Our 73S1121F smart card terminal controller includes all the capabilities required for a terminal designer to develop products that can be used in standalone mode or directly attached to a higher-level controller or PC,’ he added.

A low level Application Programming Interface (API) is provided for device control and a high level API includes protocol layers for both asynchronous cards and full-speed USB, plus PIN-management functions for security and payment applications.

The 73S1121F also has two built-in ISO7816/EMV smart card interfaces which could be used, for example, to simultaneously connect to a user card and to a Secure Application Module (SAM) for applications such as electronic transactions, e-purse or physical and logical access. The device can be expanded externally to support additional interfaces.

On-chip hardware support for a real-time clock is also provided for synchronous cryptographic applications. The chip incorporates an intelligent 5 x 6 keyboard interface, a USB port, and additional I/Os to connect an external LCD driver. A serial interface allows connection to a PC, to another controller or even to a modem chip such as the 73M2901CL, a TDK Semiconductor low-speed single chip modem widely used in transaction terminal applications. Also included are several analog inputs, reserved user I/O lines, and a GPIO port for connections that require higher voltages than the chip’s normal 2.7V to 3.6V range.

The 73S1121F will be priced at less than $9 in quantity. Samples are available now and production quantities will be available in June.

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