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INSIDE Secure introduces next generation dual-interface VaultIC 150/150D authentication chips

INSIDE Secure, the worldwide leader in complete solutions for embedded security, recently announces the next generation of its innovative dual-interface VaultIC 150/150D security modules. These have been redesigned to provide enhanced functionality, including a new privacy mode, providing a more cost-effective solution that will have broad appeal to new, higher-volume markets. The VaultIC 150/150D may be used by brands as an NFC Forum Type 4 tag to provide an effective protection solution to guard against counterfeiting, cloning and grey marketing. It may also be used as a low-cost secure bridge by manufacturers of medical, communications, entertainment and other equipment to enable real-time communications and data transfer between their products and NFC-enabled smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.

“The NFC tags based on the VaultIC 150 are the first of their kind to offer a privacy (mute) mode that can protect personal information by requiring strong authentication to gain access to the tag’s contents. This feature is becoming mandatory across the EU and elsewhere and complies with the ‘silent by design’ philosophy of the Internet of Things community,” said Bernard Vian, executive vice president of the secure transactions business division at INSIDE Secure. “Beyond this, we’ve included a number of other new features and updated the physical design of these VaultIC chips to better meet the assembly constraints of our customers and offer lower-cost packaging for new applications.”

According to Vian, INSIDE’s first-generation NFC tags have achieved considerable success in protecting the products of ultra-luxury brands, from wines to watches to handbags to printer cartridges and more. The new assembly and packaging options of these second-generation tags will make them appropriate for brand protection in more mainstream, higher volume markets like pharmaceuticals.

The field detect feature of the VaultIC 150 has been enhanced with a pass-through mode that enables real-time communications and data transfer between an NFC device such as a smartphone and a host microcontroller. This feature allows them to be used to establish a versatile communication channel for eHealth sensors, cameras and other applications that can be a very cost effective alternative to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other connectivity technologies.

In addition to a standard NFC contactless interface with full ISO14443 Type B protocol support for communicating with NFC devices, the VaultIC 150 also integrates a unique one-wire contact interface for host processor wake up and communication (using just a single GPIO). Accessing the data contained within the file systems from either interface is performed using the standard NFC Forum command set.

The VaultIC 150/150D features a variety of hardware security protection/detection mechanisms to prevent tampering and a variety of external attacks, including dedicated hardware for protection against SPA/DPA/SEMA/DEMA attacks, advanced protection against physical attacks, environmental protection systems and secure memory management/access protection. In addition to standard NFC Forum Type 4 tag operations, the dual-interface secure NFC tags can also manage strong authentication schemes using on-chip asymmetric cryptography.

Availability and pricing

The VaultIC 150/150D security modules are available now in a variety of packaging options, including square tags, stickers and DFN8, among others. Custom configurations are also available. 

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