Smart cards are perhaps the single largest application of embedded microcontrollers by volume. They are evolving from relatively simple single application chips to high capacity multi-application secure devices. The Mobile Segment is a key driver for new technology in the smart card market with the once humble SIM card becoming a true multi-application card. Since all GSM handsets carry SIM cards, it is a device primed for carrying: payment, ticketing, loyalty, physical access control and many more applications that require some level of offline secure functionality. Over-the-air provisioning of new applications is driving the need for additional processing power and storage.
ARM has developed the SecurCore range of processors to address the specific needs of secure chip designers looking to create tamper-resistant devices. Secure Elements can take many other forms than traditional smart cards and include Secure Micro SD cards, embedded secure elements and embedded SIMs for machine-to-machine communication
A number of ARM's silicon partners are investing in silicon development to pursue the Smart Card Market. The combination of ARM's business model and technology brings the following user benefits:
A spectrum of software-compatible solutions that cover a wide range of performance and security enables OEMs to utilize their software investment across a broad range of products - this improves the development cycles for the release of new platforms
Choice: A range of software-compatible devices from which to select that can run the same processor software and help OEMs to select the component that best fits their specific application.