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METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING A PROGRAMMABLE CLOCK OPERATION MODE IN A SMART CARD INTERFACE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010095D
Publication Date: 2002-Oct-21

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Background A smart card is a credit card sized piece of plastic with an integrated circuit chip embedded in it. Data placed on the chip can be read and updated when the card is inserted into a terminal or, in some cases, when it is simply placed in the proximity of a radio-frequency based smart card device.

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METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING A PROGRAMMABLE CLOCK OPERATION MODE IN A SMART CARD INTERFACE

Background

A smart card is a credit card sized piece of plastic with an integrated circuit chip embedded in it.  Data placed on the chip can be read and updated when the card is inserted into a terminal or, in some cases, when it is simply placed in the proximity of a radio-frequency based smart card device. 

Applications include:

·        Prepayment for services. (prepaid phone cards)

·        Digital cash. (i.e., credit, debit and e-purse cards, ATM card, vending machines)

·        Loyalty cards for discounts.

·        Access control to buildings, computers or other secure areas.

·        Storing a patient's medical records.

·        Generating network IDs.

There are two basic types of cards that are often called smart cards and some are decidedly smarter than others.  The first is a simple memory card that, like the familiar magnetic stripe card, stores data.  Unlike a magnetic stripe card, it can write new data over existing data many times and it can store, depending on the card, up to 32 Kbytes of information.  While memory cards qualify as smart cards, at least in comparison with magnetic stripe technology, the integrated circuit card is the truly intelligent member of this family.  It is really a tiny computer, complete with an operating system, and the ability to run multiple applications from the same chip.

Because a smart card is programmable, applications and data can be downloaded onto it for a wide variety of uses, even on a single card. Because it has storage and  processing capability, it can add or subtract value, like a debit card, a pre-paid phone card, or a loyalty card.  The ability to act as a computer also brings security features not found in credit cards.  Unlike the archetypal

credit cards and their magnetic stripes, smart cards have an actual processor built right in and can be written to an infinite number of times.  Smart cards require a high level of security, ensuring no one can "hack" the value off a card, or otherwise put unauthorized information on the card.  Because it is hard to get at the data without

authorization, and because it fits into one's pocket, a smart card is uniquely appropriate for secure and convenient data storage.  On the software side of security, smart cards must ensure both authentication and authorization.  The holder of a smart card is authenticated, via a PIN or other mechanism, to conduct certain types of business.  Authorization refers to the types of information or activities the authenticated

cardholder is entitled to.  In the situation that the data you wish to access isn't on the card itself, a smart card can also do certification.  In this process, the smart card produces a digital authentication certificate that

allows the authenticated individual to access the described data.  This is anticipated to be an increasingly interesting application when smart cards are used to access information on corporate intranets o...