GRENOBLE, FRANCE: CEA-Leti announced has demonstrated a contactless, very high-speed interface for RFID smartcards.
Contactless smartcards were originally designed for authentication applications such as public transportation tickets, bankcards and access control that require only low data- transmission speeds. More recent applications, such as the transfer of biometric data and multimedia file downloads, require faster data transfer.
Leti foresaw the needs in this market and has been focusing on technologies that provide higher transfer rates.
Leti has created a prototype of a complete phase modulation system, a reader and a card, that now achieves speeds of 6.8 Mbit/s. Phase modulation’s spectral characteristics are superior to those of amplitude modulation, allowing considerably higher speeds than the current limit of 848 Kbit/s.
Leti’s current work on optimization of signal processing aims to attain speeds greater than 10 Mbit/s. Leti is also holding discussions with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in partnership with GEMALTO, to take full advantage of this work.
The very high-speed contactless interface is the fruit of research that Leti has carried out since 2003 and Leti’s work on the MEDEA+Onom@topic project. That project, which ended in 2009, involved 16 European companies and research organizations developing a set of international standards related to e-identity and mobile transactions and to demonstrate concrete implementation of these standards.
At the heart of the project were advanced prototypes for a new generation of e-ID cards or SIM devices.
CEA-Leti has received a variety of awards over the years for its work in smartcards and RFID technology. They include the Jean-Pierre Noblanc Award presented by MEDEA (2006); the Isabelle Attali Award at the e-Smart conference, presented for the most innovative scientific contribution (2007); the Sesame prize for the best material innovation at the “Salon Cartes 2009”; and the award for the best EUREKA project at the EUREKA Innovation Awards 2010 (won by the Onom@topic project, which beat 4,000 other entries).