NXP Technology, the new name for the semiconductor company which has been spun out of Philips in recent weeks, has confirmed its involvement as a chip supplier in the
NXP is supplying its SmartMX chip technology to French smart card manufacturer Gemalto, who has the overall lead for providing secure smart card packages for the ePassports. Gemalto’s package was recently selected by the US State Department for final test and evaluation, a precursor to volume orders and issuance to the
The US State Department has included a number of features to address privacy issues and to ensure the safe-keeping of information. The read range of the contactless smart chip is only a few centimeters and special shielding material has been built into the cover to prevent communication with the chip while the cover is closed.
In addition, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) basic access control (BAC) standard is used to prevent skimming and eavesdropping (attempts to read the contactless high frequency communication between the passport chip and the reader device at the border control station). These combined features will mitigate the potential for unauthorized reading of the ePassport.
NXP claims to supply more than 80% of all smart passport implementations globally, representing 30 countries, such as