Infineon Technologies AG have announced that IBM will manufacture Infineon-designed highly-secure integrated circuits (ICs) used for secure identification applications, including electronic passports compliant with international travel regulations and the U.S. Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards. The planned production at IBM’s chip fabrication plant in Burlington, Vermont, provides U.S. manufactured components for suppliers to U.S. government electronic identification programs.
Infineon and IBM began a collaboration in 2007 that included licensing of the 130nm embedded Flash technology used to produce advanced security ICs. This established technology base will be used to manufacture security microcontrollers based on the Infineon SLE 78 architecture, which features ’Integrity Guard’ hardware security technology.
“As the long-time top ranked supplier of security ICs to commercial and government customers worldwide, Infineon is committed to providing a trusted supply chain that protects the integrity of every ID program that uses our products,” said Dr. Helmut Gassel, President of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies. “Our continued investment in the development of state-of-the-art security technology and expansion of our own supply base are driven by this focus on meeting the needs of our customers.”
”Manufacturing at the IBM Trusted Foundry enables us to meet the specific needs of the U.S. government for in-country production from a security certified high-volume, high-quality source,” said Dr. Joerg Borchert, Vice President of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies North America Corp. ”Our plant in Dresden, Germany, has provided ICs for the U.S. ePassport since 2006. We now have a U.S. site that is fully-qualified to supply security microcontrollers and related products with the highest levels of security available in a production IC today.”
Infineon specifically developed the SLE 78 family and ’Integrity Guard’ security technology for use in demanding chip-based high-end security identification and payment areas with their need for long-term security as well as for robust, high-quality products with excellent contactless performance. The SLE 78 products received the Common Criteria EAL5+ (high) security certification for use in electronic ID documents and chip card applications by German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) certifying the high standard of security achieved by Infineon. Moreover, in 2008, the chip card industry recognized the SLE 78 architecture with its highest award, the Sesame Award in the category of Best Hardware Innovation, at the annual Cartes & Identification conference in Paris, France.
Both the IBM Trusted Foundry and Infineon’s Dresden plant are security certified according to “Common Criteria”, an international standard designation for the integrity of manufacturing and the supply chain from producer to end-customer. This provides Infineon customers with two fully-qualified sources for advanced security chip technology.
In Government ID applications, roughly every second Government ID document (not including the China ID project) issued in 2009 incorporated a security chip produced by Infineon. Government ID applications include electronic documents, such as passports, national ID, health cards, drivers licenses and social security cards. Today, Infineon’s products are used in the public domain of about one-third of the 192 UN member states, which represent a total population of more than three billion people.
Together with energy efficiency and communication, security is one of the three focus areas of Infineon. As key partner of the security industry, Infineon contributes a quarter-century of security expertise gained in the development and production of chip card ICs and security ICs to the effort to increase the security of today’s solutions in reliable identification of persons and goods, payment and banking, communications, access protection for data and networks, and digital home entertainment electronics. Infineon has been the world market leader in chip card ICs for twelve consecutive years. In 2008, Infineon’s market share was 25.5 percent of the overall chip card IC market, with total revenue of about US $2.4 billion, according to market research company Frost & Sullivan.