Samsung Electronics is targeting the biometric card market with the debut of a new integrated circuit (IC) that combines a Secure Element and a Secure Processor with a built-in fingerprint sensor. The IC is designed to serve as an all-in-one security solution that can support faster processing speeds compared to mixed solutions that need to combine several different chips to perform the same function.
The Secure Element in the S3B512C integrated circuit will store and encrypt the user’s fingerprint data, and boasts EMVCo and Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC EAL) 6+ certification. The fingerprint recognition algorithm is a proprietary Samsung creation, while the Secure Processor helps extract and process the biometric data when a print makes contact with the device. The chip itself comes with anti-spoofing technology to thwart unauthorized individuals who try to use the card.
In that regard, the IC serves a function similar to that of other biometric card chips, insofar as it negates the need for PIN authentication in a wide range of situations. Biometric payment cards are the most obvious use case for the technology, though Samsung noted that it could also be used for other applications, including access control.
According to Samsung, the S3B512C was built to meet Mastercard’s Biometric Evaluation Plan Summary (BEPS) specifications for biometric payment card performance. The company believes that the IC will be appealing to card manufacturers that want to optimize their card design.
“S3B512C combines a fingerprint sensor, Secure Element and Secure Processor, adding an extra layer of authentication and security in payment cards,” explained Samsung System LSI Marketing VP Kenny Han. “The S3B512C is primarily designed for payment cards but can also be used in cards that require highly secured authentications such as student or employee identification, membership or building access.”
Samsung first revealed that it was working on a new biometric card chipset when it announced a partnership with Mastercard in March of 2021. The company has previously released physical Samsung Pay cards to support its Samsung Pay mobile payments platform.
January 26, 2022 – by Eric Weiss