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Smart Card Basics
Smart Card: A generic term for a plastic card (usually the size of a credit card) embedded with a microchip. Some smart cards contain an RFID chip, so they can identify the cardholder without any physical contact with the reader. The smart card is equipped with CPU and RAM, which can process a large amount of data without disturbing the work of the host CPU. The smart card can also filter the wrong data to reduce the burden of the host CPU. It is suitable for the occasion where the number of ports is large and the communication speed is fast. The integrated circuits in the card include CPU, programmable read-only memory EEPROM, random access memory RAM and the card operating system COS (Chip Operating System) solidified in the read-only memory ROM. The data in the card is divided into external reading and internal processing parts.

IC card is the English abbreviation of integrated circuit card, which is also called smart card, smart card, microchip card, etc. in some countries. A special integrated circuit chip is embedded in a PVC (or ABS, etc.) plastic substrate conforming to ISO7816 standard, and packaged into a card form similar to the magnetic card, that is, an IC card is made. Of course, it can also be packaged into buttons, keys, ornaments and other special shapes.


Substrate: Now it is mostly made of PVC, and there are also plastic or paper contact surfaces:

-----The metal material is generally a copper chip. The input and output ends of the integrated circuit are connected to the large contact surface, which facilitates the operation of the reader writer. The large contact surface also helps to extend the service life of the card; Generally, there are 8 contacts (C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8, C4 and C8 are designed to be reserved in the future), but some smart cards are designed to have 6 contacts (C1 C2 C3 C5 C6 C7) due to historical reasons. In addition, C6 was originally designed to supply power to the EEPROM, but since the programming voltage required by the EEPROM was directly controlled by the chip later, C6 is usually no longer used.

---Integrated chip: usually very thin, within 0.5mm, with a diameter of about 1/4cm, generally round or square, and the internal chip generally has CPU RAM ROM EPROM.


COS (Chip Operating System). The card operating system is used to respond to the instructions sent by external devices to the card, such as verification calculation, reading and writing data, reading card number, writing key, locking data area, illegal operation, automatic destruction of card settings, verification of card reader permissions, etc. The data stored in the card generally include the algorithm used to verify the authority of the card reader, the key to be verified, the card number, and the data area (for example, bus cards such as Shenzhen Tong and Yangcheng Tong can save the balance and card handling date, cards in the parking lot can save the entry time, and dining cards can save the remaining amount and user information)


Functionally, smart cards can be used for the following four purposes:

1. Identification - use the embedded microcomputer system to perform mathematical calculation on the data to confirm its uniqueness.

2. Payment tool - built-in counter is replaced by currency, comp points, etc. and data in numerical font.

3. Encryption/decryption - With the rapid development of the network, the utilization rate of e-commerce has also grown significantly. Some manufacturers said that the most important aspects of network consumption are the authenticity of identity, the integrity of data, the undeniability and legitimacy of transactions. With password mechanisms such as DES, RSA, MD5, etc., in addition to increasing the security of cards, offline operations can also be used to reduce the communication costs on the network.

4. Information - Due to the popularity of GSM mobile phones, the demand for SIM cards has increased greatly, accelerating the technical development of smart cards, and making mobile phones from the original simple telephone function to today's online network and other functions. Its information storage function makes it have a wide range of commercial applications, such as:

---Personal financial records

The competition among banks is becoming increasingly fierce. In order to improve the loyalty of customers and attract more new customers, banks have introduced various dividend preferential schemes and improved customer service systems. The use of smart cards can not only achieve the 24-hour free transfer function, but also reduce the time for bankers and customers to write their operating procedures. At present, many banks in the market have issued smart cards, and MasterCard and VISA, two major credit card groups, are also about to issue smart cards.

---Medical records

Once the health insurance card is ICified, the personal medical record can be stored in the chip. No matter which hospital you visit, you can know your personal medical status. The doctor can immediately know the patient's medical record. The patient can also save the time for filling in the report, and reduce the cost of maintaining the hospital medical record. In addition, the national identity card can also be ICified, and all personal identification data, such as fingerprints, birthdays, and personal files, can be stored in the chip. It can also be used as a passport. The Singapore and Malaysia governments have begun to use it.

---Access control

Access control is very important for enterprises and schools. In addition to being used for general access control management, smart cards can also store small amounts of money, cooperate with general stores for consumption, and improve the functionality of cards. For example, a British access control system manufacturer can apply smart cards originally used for access control to ATM at the same time, combining the functions of access control and electronic wallet.

Classification (exchange interface)

1. Contact IC card: This type of card is used to read and write data after contact between the contact of IC card reading and writing device and the contact of IC card. The international standard ISO7816 strictly stipulates the mechanical and electrical characteristics of such cards.

2. Contactless IC card: This type of card has no circuit contact with IC card equipment, but reads and writes through non-contact read-write technology (such as optical or wireless technology). In addition to CPU, logic unit and storage unit, the embedded chip adds RF transceiver circuit. The international standard ISO10536 series describes the provisions for contactless IC cards. This type of card is generally used in situations where the card is frequently used, the amount of information is relatively small, and the reliability requirements are high. 3. Dual interface card: The contact IC card and the non-contact IC card are combined into one card, and the operation is independent, but the CPU and storage space can be shared.
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