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NXP has announced that its secure contactless microcontroller chip, SmartMX, has been selected by the VDV-Kernapplikations and Co KG to power future electronic transport ticketing schemes in Germany.

Alongside card and inlay manufacturer Cardag, NXP will provide SmartMX ICs for around eight million contactless cards to be issued throughout Germany by 2012.

The aim of the scheme is to provide a single ticketing solution that will be used across all nationwide transport networks.

The SmartMX-powered electronic ticketing platform will now be deployed by transport companies throughout the country, helping to improve operational efficiencies, while enhancing overall travel experience.

NXP’s contactless microcontroller technology will be integrated in smart cards created and personalised by Cardag, and is fully compliant with the VDV-Kernapplikation (Core Application), the national data and interface standard defined for contactless ticketing and automatic fare collection in Germany.

The development of the standard was driven by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs to ensure standardised electronic tickets in a range of formats such as smart cards, bank cards and mobile devices would be fully interoperable for use within public transport schemes throughout the country and internationally.

‘Our vision is to provide passengers with a convenient and secure electronic ticket that can be used on any public transport scheme across Germany,’ said Jozef AL Janssen, general manager, VDV-Kernapplikations and Co KG, who is leading the implementation of the new transportation standard.

‘Having initially defined the core VDV-Kernapplikation standard, we needed to find a technology solution that would unify and enhance operations in each of the schemes, while delivering the best possible travel experience.’ NXP’s SmartMX chips comply with the strict security standards demanded by VDV, including public key cryptography based on the RSA algorithm.

The chips comprise a number of security features, such as Secure Fetch technology, which guards against light and lasers attack scenarios, and a dedicated hardware firewall to protect specific sections of the chip.

SmartMX chips are currently deployed throughout a wide range of contactless security applications globally including banking, access management, e-government programmes and automatic fare collection.

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