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Smart cards

A Smart Card or Integrated Circuit Card ICC is very small as any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits which can process data. It can receive input which is processed by way of the Integrated Circuit Card applications and delivered as an output

A Smart Card or Integrated Circuit Card (ICC) is very small as any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits which can process data. It can receive input which is processed by way of the Integrated Circuit Card applications and delivered as an output.

This Integrated Circuit may consist only of EEPROM in the case of a memory card, or it may also contain ROM, RAM and even a CPU.

Smart Cards have been designed with the look of a credit or debit card, but can function on at least three levels, credit - debit - personal information. Smart Cards include a microchip as the central processing unit, random access memory (RAM) and data storage of around 10MB.

Smart Card is a mini-computer without the display screen and keyboard. Smart cards contain an operating system just like personal computers. Smart cards can store and process information and are fully interactive. Advanced smart cards also contain a file structure with secret keys and encryption algorithms. Due to the encrypted file system, data can be stored in separated files with full security.


Smart cards typically hold 2,000 to 8,000 electronic bytes of data. Due to those bytes can be electronically coded; the effective storage capacity of each card is significantly increased. Magnetic stripe cards, such as those issued by banks and credit card companies, lack the security of microchips but remain inexpensive due to their status as a single purpose card. Smart cards can be a carrier of multiple records for multiple purposes. The distributed processing possible with smart cards reduces the need for ever-larger mainframe computers and the expense of local and long-distance phone circuits required to maintain an on-line connection to a central computer.


Smart Card Usage


Computer security: - The Mozilla Firefox web browser can use smart cards to store certificates for use in secure web browsing.

Some disk encryption systems, such as FreeOTFE (On The Fly Encryption), can use Smart Cards to securely hold encryption keys.

Smart Cards are also used for single sign-on to log on to computers


Financial: - Smart Cards include their use as credit or ATM cards, in a fuel card, SIMs for mobile phones, authorization cards for pay television, pre-pay utilities in household, high-security identification and access-control cards, and public transport and public phone payment cards.


Identification: - A quickly growing application is in digital identification cards. In this applicationArticle Search, the cards are used for authentication of identity. The smart card will store an encrypted digital certificate issued from the PKI (public key infrastructure) along with any other relevant or needed information about the card holder.


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Article Tags: Smart Cards, Smart Card, Integrated Circuit

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