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Microsoft Targets Atmel's Smart Card ICS For First Release of Smart Card for Windows

Agreement Puts Atmel in Secure Internet E-Commerce Arena

CHICAGO - May 12, 1999 - Atmel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced at the CardTech/SecurTech Conference that Microsoft will be developing its upcoming Smart Card for Windows smart card operating system for Atmel's AT90SCXXXX family of crypto controller ICs. Smart Card for Windows is expected to become the popular smart card choice because it is based on the PC/SC interface standard, is ISO 7816-compatible, and is very tightly integrated with the Microsoft Windows NT, Windows CE and Windows 2000 operating systems and Microsoft Internet Explorer browser software.

Microsoft is developing software that supports the design of smart card applications using the AT90SCXXXX smart card ICs and Smart Card for Windows. The software will include the ISO 7816 communications protocol; libraries for crypto development and support for corporate IT, campus and medical access control; GSM-based secure data communication and payment processing; and Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-based payment options, including Internet applications for all of the above.

"An increasing amount of business is conducted over corporate networks, the Internet and by wireless communication," said Philippe Goetschel, director of the Smart Card Group at Microsoft. "To ensure data security for the networks and the users, a secure form of electronic identification is required that replaces face-to-face and paper-based identification. Smart cards provide a completely portable, extremely secure means of storing, encrypting and decrypting data, making them ideal for providing secure electronic identification. With a smart card, the user's ID is encrypted on the card, so he or she can engage in secure transactions or access a secure network from any PC by simply inserting the smart card into the smart card reader. The identity of the user does not need to be tied to a password, a specific PC or a specific mobile phone. It is tied to the smart card, which is entirely portable and extremely secure.

"We are developing Smart Card for Windows because we think this is a growth area," Goetschel continued. "We expect that by 2000 all new PCs will have smart card readers as standard equipment. The smart card segment is expected to grow at a 300 percent annual growth rate for the next several years. By 2002, as many as 2 billion smart cards could be using the Smart Card for Windows operating system."

"In deciding which IC to use for the first release of Smart Cards for Windows, we were particularly impressed with Atmel's work with in-system programmability," said Mike Dusche, director of Smart Card Marketing at Microsoft. "In-system programmability allows code to be updated in the actual system, without removing the IC from its socket, which is an especially important feature during the API development and debugging phase.

"Atmel's crypto controllers also support the broadest range of smart card applications because they offer fast data encryption and decryption and the highest possible security available today," Dusche continued. "They are capable of supporting 1,024-bit keys, about twice the security of the most secure military applications. As a result, developers will be able to use Atmel's crypto controller ICs to design smart card products with any level of security to suit an extensive range of applications."

"Our agreement with Microsoft puts Atmel squarely in the secure e-commerce industry," said Jeffrey Katz, vice president of Marketing at Atmel. "This is a major growth industry. Dataquest estimates that smart card IC sales will reach $6.8 billion by 2002. Our joint development effort with Microsoft gives us the opportunity to become a leading supplier of smart card ICs for secure Internet and other applications."

Atmel's AT90SCXXXX Crypto Controller ICs

Atmel's AT90SCXXXX crypto controller ICs include Atmel's high-performance AVR RISC Microcontroller, Atmel's SC16 crypto-coprocessor with ROM crypto functions, a random word generator, flash memory and/or EEPROM memory, SRAM and an ISO 7816 interface. Bus scrambling, multimetal-layer technology, tamper-proof hardware and other security features render the system firmware unreadable to prevent reverse engineering. Every AT90SC3232C has a unique ID number embedded in the hardware to provide additional security.

The AVR's high throughput of 5 MIPS at 5 MHz and the crypto-coprocessor's ability to deliver a 1,024-bit RSA-encrypted electronic signature, using the Chinese Remainder Theorem, in less than 180 ms provide ultra-fast encryption and decryption.

 

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