By Andrey Golushko, Mikron.
With the advent of the digital communications era, theft or misuse of personal data stored in electronic documents, transport or even banking cards has become a tragic reality. It brings with it the ongoing challenge to the wide range of enterprises working in the area of data protection and ID security. That’s why the manufacturers of secure microcontrollers appear as the real superheroes, ready to defend and establish a sense of order and stability.
First eSignature SIM and strong partnerships
In 2006, Mikron, together with the technology group Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (market leader in payment, secure communication and identity management products and solutions), successfully launched a SIM card production line. Forthcoming collaborations in SIM card manufacturing with Gemalto (world leader in protecting, verifying and managing digital identities and interactions), strengthened Mikron’s positions in the Russian and CIS market: all the national communication services providers became the company’s key accounts.
The newly developed SIM card microcontroller MIK32C384 was specifically designed with a strong emphasis on code density for secure smart card applications. It was built on a proprietary RISC processor core with hardware program memory protection and user data protection against unauthorized access. It provides fast eSignature generation at very low power consumption, showing power efficiency and competitiveness with best-in-class products. It has already been tested by MTS – Russia’s leading communications service provider.
National eID projects
In the hazardous world of digital finances, microcontroller-based smart cards are winning the global fight for secure payments, by handling more and more transactions instead of low security magnetic stripe-based cards. To face the challenges of this fast-emerging technology, Mikron collaborated with Infineon – the European leader in chip cards and security applications. On the basis of this partnership, Mikron was soon able to open its own microcontroller development and production facility.
The dedicated microcontroller MIK51SC72D is a dual interface, one-chip microcontroller, supporting cryptographic algorithms and electronic digital signature. It was designed specifically to respond to the rising demands of contactless, multi-application solutions as well as new government challenges of identifying citizens reliably and securely through the use of multi-purpose electronic ID-documents. Moreover, it has successfully passed EMVCo certification and can be used in certified banking applications. It is currently in use within Russian Universal Electronic Cards (national eID cards). Furthermore, microcontroller MIK51AB72D (from the same product family) acquired cryptography support based on international standards (DES, 3DES, AES, RSA, EC-DSA), a contactless interface (ISO 14443В) and stores significant personal information within the currently issued Russian international biometric ePassport.
Mikron’s core competence in the field of contactless communication and secured microcontroller design and manufacturing, allows the company to offer a wide range of products for chip-based
security applications: smart cards, transport and other RFID-cards, SIM-cards, e-passports, banking cards with a chip, social security cards and other identification documents. A complete industrial chain from chip design to final product allows us to provide an all-in-one proposition with a full set of IP cores (including crypto hardware), as well as turnkey design services for a very price competitive solution. Mikron also offers development of the chip operating system according to specific customer requirements, embedding a Mikron-developed or any other OS at any production stage, as well as packaging services.
Services and customized solutions
Along with the development and manufacturing of microcontroller and ICs for RFID applications, Mikron offers a complete service including inlays/labels, chip modules, dual interface smart cards (contact and contactless) for system houses using dies from well known suppliers like Infineon, NXP, Impinj, Alien and many others. Providing optimized quality by using predominately state of the art manufacturing equipment from German suppliers, stringent reliability and the highest product quality are guaranteed. Mikron develops antennas itself, mainly taking advantage of aluminum technology in order to achieve the best reading results. A special service by Mikron is the delivery of prototypes for custom solutions in 4-6 weeks.
Mikron offers the entire production cycle from chip design to wafer production to inlays/labels, modules, smart cards and banking cards. By disposing of a complete production cycle, Mikron Group provides partners with benefits, such as making adjustments to meet the client‘s requirements, prompt response to changes in the client‘s or market requirements, cooperation starting at any stage in the production cycle, quality control at each stage of production, the highest security rate and optimized logistics.
Founded in 1964, as the “Research Institute for Molecular Electronics” and manufacturing facility “Mikron”, the company laid a foundation for the microelectronics industry in Russia. Constantly improving its technological and production facilities, designing new semiconductor products and developing its product portfolio, Mikron Group remains the largest manufacturer and exporter of microelectronics in Russia and CIS – owned by financial industrial group SISTEMA JSFC. Mikron has 3 fabs (3μm; 0,25μm; 180- 65nm) and several sales offices in Europe (Munich), USA (Denver) and Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan), as well as assembly houses in Russia (Zelenograd) and China (Shenzhen).