Infineon introduced its Coil on Module chip package for Dual Interface bank and credit cards. Dual Interface cards, which are used for both contact-based and contactless applications, are a fast growing segment of the global payments industry. The new package combines a security chip and antenna that makes a radio frequency (RF) connection to the antenna embedded on the plastic payment card.
Using an RF link rather than the common mechanical-electrical connection between the card antenna and the module, improves the robustness of the payment card and simplifies card design and manufacturing, making it more efficient and up to five times faster than with conventional technologies.
The card owner's individual data are stored on the security chip of the Dual Interface card and uploaded in a payment transaction. Dual Interface cards also contain a card antenna which enables them to communicate contactlessly with card readers at the point of sale. In conventional card manufacturing processes, the chip module is connected to the card antenna via mechanical-electrical procedures, e.g. soldering connections or conductive paste. This method is very complex and always requires individual adaptation of the antenna design to the respective chip module.
The Coil on Module technology simplifies this procedure. The antenna integrated on the back of the chip module transmits data to the card antenna using inductive coupling technology, i.e. a radio connection. This makes the card more robust as conventional connections between the chip module and the card antenna – which can be damaged by mechanical stress to the card – are eliminated.
With this approach, card manufacturers can much faster and more economically embed 'Coil on Module' chip modules into the card than conventional Dual Interface modules. In addition, they can use all Infineon chip/module combinations with a universal card antenna whose design parameters were likewise developed by Infineon. This results in reduced complexity of the manufacturing process of Dual Interface cards. Infineon's Coil on Module chip package is firstly available for bank and credit cards. However, it is also suitable for other types of Dual Interface smart cards such as electronic access controls, public transport ticketing and electronic identity documents.
According to IMS Research, an IHS company, the share of dual interface cards used in the global payment chip card market stood at 19 percent, or 672 million pieces, at the end of 2012. This forecast is to grow rapidly over the next five years rising to 71 percent, or 6.1 billion, by the end of 2017.