“We are extremely proud of being selected by the ChineseGovernment to supply our leading SmartMX products for the upcomingrollout of electronic passports,” said Guenter Schlatte, vicepresident and general manager, eGovernment, NXP Semiconductors.”Since the introduction of ePassports, NXP has been at theforefront of developing solutions to enhance border security,safeguard privacy and improve interoperability”.
The Chinese government will start issuance of ePassports in2010, and is planning to replace all paper-based passports. Atpresent over 30 million passports are in circulation within China,therefore substantial roll-out volumes of ePassports are expectedin the coming years.
NXP is currently involved in more than 80 percent of allePassport schemes, having shipped about 150 million ICs to date. Intota, 68 out of 79 countries which have deployed ePassports areusing NXP SmartMX chip technology including the US, United Kingdomand Singapore.
Prior to selecting NXP as its main supplier of ePassport chips,the corresponding ministry of the Chinese government undertook athorough evaluation of smartcard security chips. The selection hasbeen confirmed by a government official in charge of the ePassportscheme in the following statement: “Following this independentreview, we were able to determine that NXP’s SmartMX technologyoffered the highest levels of interoperability, reading distancesand read times, therefore meeting our exact requirements.”
NXP’s SmartMX chips comprise a number of unique securityfeatures to guard against attack scenarios with light and lasers aswell as a dedicated hardware firewall to protect specific sectionson the chip. In addition, the ICs provide faster read and writecapabilities due to optimized hardware and software. NXP’s SmartMXchips can be delivered in the industry’s thinnest 250µmchip-package, making it suitable for a wide variety of contact andcontactless eGovernment applications.