Infineon chip improves security for smart payments

  • December 5, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

German electronics company Infineon has launched a security controller for smart payment applications using smart card and embedded security ICs.

Infineon’s SLC26P is the first security controller optimised for payments based on 28nm technology, EMVCo certification is expected to be available this month.

The IC delivers performance for the payment industry combined with security standards. It uses an Arm v8-M architecture optimised for deeply embedded systems and designed for low-latency processing.

Commercial production of integrated circuits using 28nm technology node began several years ago. As the process technology has matured, market demand for 28nm products has also increased. Although offering advantages, security applications have not been among the main uses for this technology, thus far.

Infineon hopes to change that with the SLC26P, the first security IC targeting high volume payment applications based on the future-proof 28nm technology node.

“Infineon is the first to make use of the 28nm technology node for smart card ICs,” said Ioannis Kabitoglou, head of digital security at Infineon. “This step emphasises our long-term commitment to the security IC market. The SLC26P is the first smart card IC product that will be manufactured in 28nm technology. We are planning for a fast ramp of production in the first half of 2023. This will help us deliver to the continued high demand for cutting-edge security and relieve the negative impact of the semiconductor shortages in security ICs.”

Infineon has been working with long-term partner TSMC to develop security IC products based on a 28nm technology node. Capacity issues at mature technologies such as 90, 65 and 40nm have been a limiting factor for the strong demand in security applications. Silicon foundries, for this reason, have been building capacity to address these limitations.

By enabling the 28nm technology node for security ICs, Infineon not only offers the market an increased sourcing flexibility, but also empowers higher performance as well as more energy efficient and environmentally friendly products for this segment. The portfolio of products based on 28nm will serve smart card and embedded security IC applications in the coming years, including payment and transportation markets as well as identity and authentication.

The SLC26P is planned to ramp-up in production the first half of 2023 to enable EMV payment card issuance with the technology beginning in spring 2023. Samples based on SLC26P are available on request.