Infineon: Test system for security and chip card applications

Infineon Technologies AG, a leading manufacturer in the semiconductor industry, offers a wide range of semiconductor and system solutions which influence not only the wired and wireless communication segments, but also security and chip card applications.

This specific project is purely about transmission without contact. It takes place solely over a magnetic or electrical field by means of a mutual coupling of the card with the reader.

Infineon’s objective was to develop a test system that worked more efficiently, faster and above all, fully automatically. This had to meet the requirements of ISO 10373, 14443 and 15926, as well as other stringent demands. There were also different transmission variants to test over a temperature range of -25 °C to 70 °C, a relative humidity of 0 % to 60 % and a field strength range of 1.5 A/m to 7.5 A/m with a relevant ISO/IEC FDIS 14443-2:2000(E) compliant transmission protocol.

The disadvantage of previous, PC-based test systems is that the “overhead” of the PC results in an extended test period. Neither is it possible to measure with more than one temperature sensor or to measure the humidity without major expenditure.

HBM ML70B with Infineon CPU C163 – an efficient synergy

The program development system is “CodeSys” from 3SSoft. This is based on the international standard PLC language IEC61131 - 3. CodeSys and supports all five of the stipulated languages.

In addition, digital I/Os on the ML78 – AP75 are used to trigger a change system to successively select the chips to be tested. As the digital outputs were restricted to 8 bits, a special plug-in card was made for the MGCplus system to add more digital channels to the setup. As there are very few devices on the market that can measure voltages with a frequency of 13.56 MHz at a relevant resolution, the AP801 was adapted slightly. The temperature was measured at 16 points by the ML801 – AP809, with the humidity also being measured at the AP801.

A reduction of 60 % in measurement times and runtimes was the crucial factor in deciding on this test setup.

Chip card with writer/reader
Chip card with a so-called “inlay” – a coil of vapor-deposited tracks. The black dot is the actual chip!
The program stores the data on the storage medium in the PCMCIA slot of the CP42, from where they can be called via the network.
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