NXP chip chosen for German e-tickets

NXP's SmartMX secure contactless microcontroller chip has been selected to power future electronic transport ticketing schemes in Germany.

The chips will be integrated in smart cards created and personalised for transport operators by card and inlay-manufacturer Cardag.

Around eight million contactless cards will be issued throughout Germany by 2012. The aim of the scheme is to provide a single ticketing solution, eTicket Deutschland, that will be used across all nationwide transport networks.

NXP's technology 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 that 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.

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 unique security features, such as the recently introduced Secure Fetch technology – which guards against light and lasers attack scenarios and a dedicated hardware firewall to protect specific sections of the chip.

The security of transport cards has come under scrutiny following last year's much-publicised hack of another NXP chip, the Mifare Classic.

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