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What is an IC card

What is an IC card?

IC card (integrated circuit card), also known as smart card, intelligent card, microcircuit card or microchip card. A microelectronic chip is embedded into a card base conforming to ISO 7816 standard and made into a card form. The communication mode between IC card and reader can be contact or non-contact. Because IC card has the characteristics of small volume, easy to carry, large storage capacity, high reliability, long service life, strong confidentiality and high security, the concept of IC card was put forward in the early 1970s. Boer company of France first created IC card products in 1976 and applied this technology to finance, transportation, medical treatment, identity certification and other industries, It combines microelectronic technology and computer technology, and improves the modernization of people’s work and life.

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Principle of IC card

IC card is an integrated circuit card, IC card chip has the ability to write data and store data, which can determine the contents of IC card memory. On the card is packaged with a chip that conforms to ISO standards, there are 6~8 contacts and external devices for communication, on the IC card can have color patterns and descriptive text according to ISO standards, some of the contacts of IC card and their definitions are

  • VCC: IC card working power supply.
  • GND: grounding.
  • VPP: memory programming power supply.
  • CLK: timing and synchronization of relevant signals.
  • I/O: input and output of serial data in the card.
  • RST: reset signal.

When the IC card is inserted into the IC card reader, each contact is connected correspondingly, and the super large-scale integrated circuit on the IC card starts to work.

Types of IC card

According to the different integrated circuits embedded in the card, IC card can be divided into memory card, non-contact IC card, optical card, non-contact intelligent IC card, smart card.

Memory Cards

Memory card, also known as Memory Card, contains integrated circuit memory with storage function, as well as data memory (EEPROM), working memory (RAM) or program memory (EPROM). Memory cards use semiconductor memory. The sum of all the memory cells in the memory is called the storage capacity, the maximum capacity of the memory card is currently 512 KB. memory card read/write a word time called read/write time, the reader can read out the contents of the card when receiving the address and read command, the read time is about a few microseconds, the reader can write when sending the address, to write data and write command, the time to write a data is much longer than The time to write a data is much longer than the time to read out a data, generally need 5 ~ 10ms.

Non-contact IC card

Contactless IC card, also known as RF card, is a new technology developed in recent years, which combines RF identification technology and IC card technology together, solving the technical problems of passive (no power in the card) and contact-free.
Contactless IC card has the following characteristics compared with contact IC card.

  • (1) High reliability. Because there is no mechanical contact between reading and writing, avoiding various failures due to contact reading and writing; and non-contact IC card surface without exposed chips, no chip off, electrostatic breakdown, bending damage and other worries.
  • (2) Convenient operation. Contactless communication makes the reader can operate the card within the range of 10 cm, and the non-contact IC card has no direction when using, the card can be swept across the reader surface in any direction to complete the operation, both convenient and improve the speed.
  • (3) Anti-conflict. The non-contact IC card has the fast anti-collision mechanism, can prevent the data interference between the cards, the reader can “simultaneously” deal with multiple non-contact IC cards.
  • (4) Can be adapted to a variety of applications. Contactless Ic card memory structure characteristics make it suitable for a card multi-purpose, can be set according to different applications and access conditions of different passwords.
  • (5) Good encryption performance. The serial number of the non-contact IC card is unique and has been cured before leaving the factory, and there is a two-way verification mechanism between it and the reader; the non-contact IC card has to be mutually authenticated with the reader three times before processing.

Optical Card

Optical Card (Optical Card) technology is the twin brother of computer optical disk storage technology, appeared in the mid-1980s. The recording medium of Optical Card consists of semiconductor laser material, and the substrate material is made of polycarbonate Moet (an organic material used for high-speed jet windows). The material is 100 times more durable than the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) currently used in ordinary IC cards, and the optical card is the same size as the IC card (85.6 mm long, 54 mm wide, and 0.76 mm thick). Optical cards use semiconductor laser irradiation to record and extract information, and are high-capacity card media capable of storing and regenerating information. The characteristics of optical cards are as follows.
Large capacity, can store 4.2MB of information, can save text, data information, photos, pictures, image information; good security, not afraid of strong electricity, strong magnetic interference; good reliability, has a unique means of information confidentiality, can do a card a code, password can not be read by conventional methods; read and write information fast, data reading speed of 26KB / s, data writing speed of 10KB / s. Made with patented technology, can prevent forgery, and use a variety of encryption technology; easy to use; relatively inexpensive.
The U.S. Congress decided in 1996 that the information recorded on the optical card has legal effect and selected the optical card as the card for the green card project. In addition, the optical card is also used extensively in automobile management and health care. In addition, it is also used in automobile management and health care. Optical cards are also used in healthcare in China, for example, some hospitals in Beijing use optical cards.

Contactless smart IC card

Currently, the ISO standard 14443 for contactless smart IC cards contains both Class A and Class B. The performance of the Class B standard is: the chip works with a voltage supply and clock that never interrupts; it can provide higher data transfer rates. Its characteristics are: suitable for the use of a huge amount, small amount of consumption; system maintenance is easy; can reduce human damage; light quality, small size, good reliability; can have a variety of data carriers; can cope with a variety of environments; read and write more compact.

Smart Card

Smart card is introduced in the early 1980s, it is embedded in the plastic card containing a microprocessor, memory and input / output interface of the lC card chip and made, the chip has a storage function and information processing functions, equivalent to a microcomputer. The smart card has all the functions and features of an ordinary lC card, and its hardware consists of CPU or MPU, EEP-ROM, EPROM, RAM, ROM, and so on. In addition, security control software can be stored in the smart card, which itself has the function of checking the personal ID number and determining the legitimacy of the cardholder. Its storage capacity can reach 64 to 512 KB, which broadens the application scope of ordinary IC cards.

Features of IC cards

IC cards have the following characteristics.
Small size and light, very easy to carry; storage capacity, CPU card contains microprocessor, memory can be divided into a number of application areas, to facilitate a card multi-purpose, convenient storage; high reliability, IC card anti-magnetic, anti-static, anti-interference ability, high reliability than the magnetic card; long service life, information can be read and written 100,000 times, long service life; strong confidentiality, high security, IC card itself has hardware security settings. The information in the IC card cannot be copied after encryption, and the card itself has self-destruction function if the password is wrongly checked, so the data in the IC card is safe and reliable; the network requirement is not high, and the security and reliability of the IC card makes its application to the computer network with low real-time and sensitivity requirements, so it can be used in the environment where the network quality is not high, or in the network. Quality is not high environment or in the case of not online application; IC card reading and writing mechanism than the magnetic card reading and writing mechanism is simple, reliable, cheap, easy to promote, simple maintenance.

Function of IC card

Password management

IC card has the functions of setting password, modifying password and unlocking password. To ensure the security of your IC card, you can set the password for the IC card according to your personal needs.

Stored value, lap storage

According to the needs of the user or the unit, the user can go to the company’s designated card storage point for payment and storage of value for future vehicle refueling, or go to the card storage machines for storage business.

Lost, replacement and exchange cards

If a user’s fuel card is accidentally lost or stolen, he or she can go to the card issuing and value storage point for lost and replacement procedures; the period of use of the fuel card is determined by the expiration date printed on the back of the card, and the expired fuel card should be extended or replaced so that the card can continue to be used for fuel.

Invoicing and Inquiry

When users apply for lC card stored value, the issuing card storage point will issue general invoices for them; users can know the fuel card fund balance on any IC card fuel dispenser at any time, and can also inquire at the issuing card storage point and print statements. Unit driver card users can query all the information of the affiliated driver card with the unit management card.

Black Card

A black card is a card that is lost when the cardholder uses a lost fuel card and the loss is effective. When someone else uses the black card, the dispenser automatically locks the card and the card will not be able to continue refueling.

Gray Card

A gray card is a card that has been wrongly pulled out during refueling, and the card is not charged for the current refueling, so the dispenser will mark the card as a gray card. The card will automatically deduct the amount that should have been deducted last time before the dispenser can continue refueling.

Application of lC Card

The application process of IC card is mainly divided into four stages: manufacturing, issuing, using and recycling.

  • (1) IC card manufacturing. lC card manufacturers purchase lC card chip cards from lC card chip manufacturers, and produce the required IC cards through the process of printing, coding, hot stamping, encapsulation, gluing and testing in accordance with the commissioning requirements of IC card issuing organizations. For example, Germany’s SIEMENS is an IC card chip manufacturer. SIEMENS provides the chips, and the company produces them into IC cards according to the requirements of customers (such as telecommunication companies) and supplies them to the society.
  • (2) lC card issuance. lC card issuance is usually done by the application department or a specific organization, who receives IC cards from manufacturers and processes them according to their own set of rules and issues them to qualified applicants. For example, the telecommunication company is the IC card issuing organization, they entrust the production company to produce lC telephone card, then purchase and plan and issue by area. the issuing of IC card can be divided into two processes: the initialization of IC card and the first recharge of IC card. the initialization of IC card refers to the whole process of turning a blank card (only encapsulated chip) into a personal card, including setting the patent number of a certain application item, the issuer number, identifying IC card first recharge is done at lC card recharge point by IC card application system personnel, the record content has card number, card type, amount, date, operator, machine number, etc. IC card can be issued after recharge.
  • (3) Use of IC card. the holder of IC card with the legal IC card asks the application department to fulfill the granted rights. Such as a user who has purchased a telephone card to make IC card calls, etc.
  • (4) IC card recycling: IC card recycling means that the issued IC card is taken back by the issuing organization because it has lost its use value or for other reasons. At present, the link is generally omitted, and the used IC card is handled by the user himself.

Application system of IC card

The normal use of IC card needs the support of information management system with IC card as the basic means, i.e. IC card application system. Through this system, the card can provide information for users, provide services to users, and ensure the safety of users with the card. It is generally believed that the IC card application system should include the following three aspects.

  • (1) Hardware technology. Hardware technology includes IC card chip technology, IC card module technology, IC card assembly technology, IC card testing technology, IC card base technology, IC card reading and writing machine development technology, etc.
  • (2) Software technology. Software technology includes system software and application software. System software includes computer network system, communication system, and card operating system (Chip Operating System, COS) development, IC card reading and writing machine and a variety of high-level language interface function development, storage management, cryptography, security programs, etc.; application software includes COS card issuing interface and application software related to the application management information system.
  • (3) business analysis of IC card application field. business analysis of IC card application field should and must be provided by the relevant business department that develops lC card application system. As with the business analysis of the management information system, its depth and breadth directly affect the success or failure of the IC card application system.
  • (4) Sales terminal equipment. Point of Sale (POS) is a credit card authorization terminal set up by banks at commercial outlets or special merchants. In practice, cash registers are generally used as terminals connected to the main computer, and merchandise information is entered into the computer with the help of photoelectric reading equipment. The POS system was first used in the retail industry, but gradually expanded to other service industries such as finance and hotels, and the scope of the POS system was extended from the enterprise to the entire supply chain.

lC card selection criteria

Gas station IC card is a cash stored value card, the security and confidentiality of the data on the card has extremely high requirements, the system uses the following criteria in the selection of IC cards.

  • (1) Identification card IC card standard “ISO/IEC7816 – 1/2/3/4”.
  • (2) Part 1, 2 and 9 of China Financial Integrated Circuit ( lC) Card Specification V2.0.
  • (3) The financial lC card standard (PBOCI.O) developed by the People’s Bank of China.

According to the above standards we choose RF CPU card, the card contains the basic information of the user, the balance, the necessary conditions of the transaction, the recent transaction history details, and also contains a variety of data read and write permissions and authentication password. All operations of data exchange with the card must pass through the CPU inside the card; all the data of the operations are encrypted; the encrypted operations are done by the security module inside the card terminal. The number of wrong operations will be recorded by the IC card, and when the number of operations is greater than the specified value, the lC card will lock itself, or even destroy its own data, to ensure the security to the whole world.

The difference between IC card and RFID card

IC card is divided into contact and non-contact IC card, both belong to RFID category, contact IC card its chip directly encapsulated in the card base surface, while non-contact IC card is composed of chip and coil, can be divided into COB winding copper wire, etched antenna, printed antenna and so on, the difference between the two applications is: the former needs to be inserted into the card reader in the process of use, such as bank cards, the latter only needs to be close to the card reader Induction antenna can be read, such as traffic cards, access control cards.
RFID card refers to the non-contact class of electronic cards / tags, including ID cards and NFC cards and other electronic cards / tags. The main difference between them is the working frequency band.
ID card is the early contactless electronic tags, working band in 125KHz, only one ID number, can not store any data, so called ID card.
IC cards, as understood from the word above, include other RFID tags and contact chip cards in addition to ID cards, but generally speaking, IC cards mainly refer to contactless smart cards and contact smart cards that work in the 13.56MHz band, and contactless smart cards include NFC cards or tags (NFC Forum stipulates that there are four types of cards that belong to NFC cards), contact smart cards, and contact smart cards. Smart cards are also known as smart cards with a bare chip.
RFID cards also include electronic cards/tags that work in other frequency bands, such as 915MHz, 2.4GHz, and other bands.

Comparison of IC card and ID card

The security of IC card is much greater than ID card. ID card inside the card number read without any permission, easy to imitate.
IC card recorded data reading, writing are required to the corresponding password authentication, and even each zone within the card has a different password protection, comprehensive protection of data security, IC card write data password and read data password can be set to different, provides a good hierarchical management approach to ensure system security.
ID card can not write data, its record content (card number) can only be written by the chip production factory once, the developer can only read out the card number to use, can not be based on the actual needs of the system to develop a new number management system.
IC card can not only be read out a large amount of data by authorized users, but also can be written by authorized users to a large amount of data (such as new card number, user’s rights, user information, etc.), and the recorded content of IC card can be repeatedly erased.
Storage capacity.
ID card only records the card number; while IC card (such as Philips mifare1 card) can record about 1000 characters of content.
Off-line and network operation.
Because there is no content in the ID card card, so its card holder’s permission, system function operation to completely rely on the computer network platform database support. The IC card itself has recorded a large number of user-related content (card number, user information, permissions, consumption balance and a lot of other information), and can be completely separated from the computer platform to achieve automatic conversion of networking and offline operation, which can achieve the needs of a wide range of use and less wiring.
Maintenance and operation of intelligent systems.
For example: the computer issued a new user ID card, it must be through the ID card system network, with the manual way to download all ID card number one by one to each ID card reader controller, otherwise the ID card is used as an invalid card and can not be used; if you want to change the user rights, it is necessary to enter the ID card number with rights on each ID card controller. Another example: after the system is put into use often to add ID cards, then each new card or modify the permissions of a card, it is necessary to enter the card number on all controllers available for the card, which greatly increases the manual operation and maintenance workload and time. In addition, if more than a few card subsystems, or subsystems a little larger, the complexity of the system maintenance management will be geometrically increased, will directly lead to the system can not run properly.
And the use of IC card card system, IC card issuance, the card itself is a data information carrier, even if the communication network does not work, read-write controller as usual to achieve offline read-write card operation. If you change the user rights, you can write the user rights directly in the IC card, new users change the rights just by modifying the card, no need to modify each controller, from the technical mechanism to avoid the problem of managers everywhere to change the controller card use rights, to improve management efficiency, to achieve the purpose of intelligent management.
Performance ratio.
Although ID card and ID card reader is cheaper than IC card card and reader, but from the composition of the whole card system (wiring cost, structure composition), the price of the two systems is comparable, and only IC card system can run stable and reliable, so the cost performance of IC card system is much higher than ID card system.
In addition, considering the reality that the hardware environment of each implementation unit is not very mature and the system maintenance personnel are not very familiar with computer knowledge, it is impossible to establish or maintain a complete network system to support the 24-hour non-stop network operation of the ID card card system. Therefore, to meet the networking and offline operation of the intelligent IC card card system adapted to each other, is the only choice for today’s users.
A cartoon industry has two definite.
ID card can not be made into a card (as described above), ID card can not do consumption, unless it can accept its shortcomings (as described above and below):.
The biggest reason ID cards cannot be used for consumption is the “credit” issue. Because the ID card does not have a key security authentication mechanism, and can not write the card, so the consumption data and the amount of money can only exist in the database of the computer, and the computer is to rely on the management of the management staff, from the truth and the mechanism of the complete existence of cheating space, in addition, in case of computer problems caused by the collapse of consumption data, there will be disastrous consequences.
IC card as ID card with the “strange” phenomenon.
Some ID card equipment, system manufacturers, forced by the powerful advantages of IC card, the external also claim that its system available IC card, but in fact, the same as the use of ID card, only with the IC card public area of the card number, and did not change its ID card system structure, not to mention the IC card has the key authentication, read and write security mechanisms. Therefore, it is inferred from the substance that it is still an ID card card system, compared with the traditional ID card system is only more wasteful of resources, more period of deception, but also can not have the advantages of the IC card card system, while our consumer system does not have this problem.
SourceChina IC Card Manufacturer – Actility Technologies Company Limited (www.tractility.com)

Actility provides powerful security solutions for retail store management to prevent asset and property losses, improve transaction security, and provide intelligent analysis. We produce AM/EM/RFID systems, EAS tags, EAS soft labels, EAS safer, lanyards, detachers and all kinds EAS accessories products. Infrared people counter and camera people counter is available. If you want to have more information about the article or you want to share your opinion with us, contact us at [email protected]



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