CTC: A chip that speaks many languages
CTC: A chip that speaks many languages

At the start of June, LEGIC Identsystems AG announced the launch of its first cross-standard transponder chip – CTC for short. The CTC4096-MP410 supports the prime RF standard of LEGIC as well as of LEGIC advant (ISO 14443A) and brings new possibilities for card manufacturers and end users. At the end of the financial year, LEGIC Identsystems AG was able to announce the launch of the first family of multi-RF transponder chips. CTC are innovative in that they are both LEGIC advant and prime transponders at the same time. The CTC4096-MP410 has a 4kb memory; 3kb for the LEGIC advant memory and 1kb for the LEGIC prime memory. A LEGIC prime reader can access the latter without additional tools. A LEGIC advant reader can access both the LEGIC advant memory as well as the prime memory. The first of a multi-lingual family “With CTC technology, we are introducing a family of multi-RF transponder chips, which offers an easy solution to integrate several RF standards”, explains Reinhard Kalla, Vice President Product Marketing & New Business at LEGIC Identsystems AG. “CTC is possibly the first solution of this kind that operates faultlessly.” Future versions of CTC4096-MP410 will be based on the same technology platform and allow communication in several RF standards.  Considerable advantages for manufacturers and end users For manufacturers of storage media, the CTC generation signifies simplified card design: until now, communication in different RF standards required two chips each with an antenna; now only one chip with antenna is required, thus saving on costs. “CTC users will be the ones to reap the most benefits”, emphasises Kalla. CTC allows to use one card within a mixed reader infrastructure. the migration from LEGIC prime to LEGIC advant to take place in steps or selectively. For example, the prime user can convert selected fields with very high security requirements individually to LEGIC advant, without having to change the entire system. Or, he can implement the migration from prime to LEGIC advant in several steps. “With CTC, we give our end customers full flexibility in developing their system”, sums up Kalla. In operation soon The CTC4096-MP410 has already been thoroughly tested and is on the way to being put into practical application. For one major customer, several hundred thousands of pieces had already been produced at the time of the launch.  Successful market penetration is therefore not an issue.

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LEGIC advant 4000 reader chip generation fulfils high functional requirements
LEGIC advant 4000 reader chip generation fulfils high functional requirements

The market for contactless identification technology is constantly moving. Requirements for advanced security and reliability are increasing, along with demands for comfortable and internationally flexible use. Manufacturers of readers and credentials, along with systems integrators, require technologies that fulfil high functional requirements and user-related criteria to the same extent. The new LEGIC SM-4200 reader chip rises to this challenge. The established variety of supported applications, such as access control, time & attendance, offline locks, IT access or cashless payments, is only the basis. Due to the extremely small size (8 x 8 mm) and the compact design of the new LEGIC reader chip, manufacturers are offered even more flexibility in developing their applications. A much longer battery lifetime also makes the chip attractive for offline applications such as lockers or furniture locks. Open technology platform The challenges are even more demanding when you consider the complex system of different technologies, manufacturers and industrial standards that characterises almost all modern security solutions. Intelligent basic technology, as used by SM-4200, is open to a variety of standards and transponder types, has a high level of interoperability and can be easily integrated into existing installations. Security standards are also increasing on a daily basis. It is therefore more and more important for a technology platform in the field of secure personal identification to include an encryption package that can be upgraded on demand. This openness not only guarantees high protection of investments, but also ensures that installations always comply with the most up-to-date security standards. Setting trends The new development of the LEGIC advant SM-4200 reader chip is perfectly in line with the trend for compact, interoperable and energy-efficient solutions, which can be flexibly integrated into existing infrastructure. Ultimately, the end user's comfort is enhanced through the use of flexible and versatile reading technology.

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LEGIC advant 4000: the reader generation with MIFARE interoperability
LEGIC advant 4000: the reader generation with MIFARE interoperability

The new reader chip SM-4500 and the new OS-4000 V2.0 make the LEGIC advant 4000 series the most versatile reader generation of LEGIC. The great novelty of the SM-4500 is the initialisation function, which enables the creation and the management of segments on LEGIC transponders. With the installation of OS-4000 V2.0 the complete LEGIC advant 4000 series further supports common third party transponders, e.g. MIFARE Classic und MIFARE DESFire. This feature opens up a bigger market for readers. Through its compact design, its low-power consumption and a versatile and simple application interface LEGIC advant 4000 based readers integrate themselves in a wide variety of applications. Creation and management of segments with the SM-4500 The new SM-4500 includes the complete function set to create and manage segments on transponder chips. Thus the initialisation of smart cards becomes easier and the management of a system is more comfortable than ever before. Interoperability with MIFARE transponders LEGIC advant 4000 reader modules support all common RF standards and can therefore be used in an extreme wide variety of installations. With the introduction of the OS-4000 V2.0, this key feature is further enhanced – so that, besides the RF standards, the required cryptographic functions for the complete MIFARE transponder family are supported by LEGIC advant 4000 readers. New features and a full backward compatibility The coexistence of LEGIC advant 4000 readers in existing installations is secured by a full backward compatibility with all existing LEGIC products. The SM-4500 is further pin-compatible with the SM-4200 and thus integrates itself easily in existing designs. New installations benefit additionally from the extended possibilities and the higher efficiency – which is also prepared for future challenges. Suitable for all applications The LEGIC advant 4000 series features an extremely compact design and low-power consumption. A smooth integration in readers, easy deployments with battery-powered applications and a simple usage of the smart card technology offer attractive designs, new applications and a unique comfort for operators and users.

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Access control systems & kits - Expert commentary

Wireless technology is transforming motion detection
Wireless technology is transforming motion detection

Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localisation. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymised and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

Latest LEGIC Identsystems Ltd news

ELATEC to introduce the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at ISC West 2020
ELATEC to introduce the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at ISC West 2020

From buildings to vehicle fleets and enterprise networks to perimeter gates, having access control to let the right people in—while keeping everyone else out—is a security necessity. ELATEC, a global specialist in radio frequency identification (RFID) readers enabling user authentication for these and other access control applications, will introduce its latest new product the TWN4 Palon Compact Panel Reader at the ISC West Conference and Exhibition, to be held March 17-20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Physical access control applications The Palon is a powerful, multi-function reader optimised for physical access control applications. Unlike traditional RFID readers, Palon’s unique capabilities include: Flexible architecture and a robust, open API to support custom applications and unique functionality Supports encryption for security applications Quick and easy updating to support emerging market requirements, and done so either remotely or via a contactless configuration card Reads and writes all major transponder technologies globally—60+, including HID Global, LEGIC and NXP, and NFC and BLE mobile device technologies for use with smartphones. Highly customisable panel mount Palon’s compact OEM PCB module is designed for integration into third-party products and devices. And its attractive, highly customisable panel mount is ideal for use in PAC panels, elevators, parking systems, EV chargers, kiosks and more. To see Palon and ELATEC’s suite of offerings, visit ELATEC booth #23006. Visitors can also see Palon in the new product showcase at ISC West.

LEGIC Orbit upgraded with new security feature that restricts configuration data to specific reader ICs
LEGIC Orbit upgraded with new security feature that restricts configuration data to specific reader ICs

Correct configuration of readers in the field forms the basis of secure ID solutions. In the latest version of LEGIC Orbit, the option to restrict configuration data to specific reader ICs is a very powerful new feature. Versatile Configuration Packages LEGIC Orbit offers the possibility to transmit cryptographic keys and other configuration data from the management system securely to readers in the field. This works via so-called Versatile Configuration Packages (VCP), which are generated in a Hardware Security Module (HSM) and distributed to readers in the field via user’s smartphones or management system. With this new feature, you can now restrict the validity of each VCP to specific reader devices based on their chipID which uniquely identifies every LEGIC reader IC. This feature provides additional protection against abuse of configuration data and can help prevent configuration errors. Transmitting cryptographic keys For example, a cryptographic key for a specific building is generated in the secure LEGIC Orbit environment. Subsequent distribution of this key via VCP can now be restricted to readers installed only in that building. This feature makes it impossible to wrongly configure readers not belonging to that building.

LEGIC SM-6300 reader ICs upgraded with improvements to the OS50 firmware
LEGIC SM-6300 reader ICs upgraded with improvements to the OS50 firmware

With the OS50 firmware upgrade, several new features have been implemented to make the SM-6300 faster and even more powerful. New filter options in the search for Bluetooth devices enable the selection of specific devices, energy consumption is significantly reduced. Additionally, the generation of authorisation media for the LEGIC Master-Token-System-Control (MTSC) solution and the creation of LEGIC prime and advant segments on LEGIC smartcards are possible with the new SM-6300init. LEGIC Master-Token-System-Control solution The SEARCH command for LEGIC reader ICs offers an easy and efficient way to communicate with different devices. When using the Bluetooth Low Energy transparent mode of the SM-6300, there is a growing demand for a filtering capability to precisely select a device, as more and more Bluetooth devices are around. With the new OS50, there are now more filter options available, allowing the reader to specifically find Bluetooth Low Energy devices that advertise certain data. In previous firmware versions the SEARCH command executed sequentially for every technology which cost valuable time in the search for the various ID media and slowed down the opening process noticeably. With the new upgrade, the search for Bluetooth Low Energy devices can be started and continued in the background while simultaneously searching for RFID media. SM-6300 reader ICs One of the strengths of the SM-6300 reader ICs is their design for use in battery-powered readers One of the strengths of the SM-6300 reader ICs is their design for use in battery-powered readers or other infrastructure components. Energy consumption is therefore essential and determines whether a solution is successful or not. If a reader design consumes less energy, the battery lasts longer, and maintenance costs are reduced. LEGIC has already introduced optimizations for energy consumption with enhancements to the sleep mode in September 2019. Since then, a reader can be woken up not just by inductive Wake Up, but also capacitive, with a timer or via GPIO. With the latest OS50 firmware upgrade, the SM-6300 is now also considerably more power-efficient when the IC is active. The improvements not only lead to a further reduction in energy consumption, but also significantly reduce the peaks in current consumption, which opens up new design possibilities. Generate authorisation media To allow MTSC users to generate authorisation media themselves, LEGIC reader ICs offer corresponding commands to create an authorisation medium from a Master-Token blank. Until now, the generation of authorisation media as well as the initialisation of advant and prime applications on LEGIC smartcards could only be done with the SM-4500. With the new SM-6300init, these commands are now also supported by the 6000 series. This means that all applications can now be covered with just one design based on the SM-6300init.

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