Murton System Technologies
has become the first South African company to adopt Mifare technology and
will be developing and producing smart card products for the South African
and international markets. "Contactless cards are not a new
phenomenon," said Brent Maurer, Murton
System Technologies MD, "but Contactless Read/Write cards are."
The Philips Mifare
technology is a global standard for Contactless smart card ICs to the
With full DES encryption,
anti-collision software, thousands of read/write cycles and no contacts,
these cards are simply bought into the detection zone of the reader for
the transaction to take place.
The products supplied by
Murton will be targeted at applications where dynamic information can be
stored and updated on the card, as well as environments where off-line
operation is of the essence.
"Mifare is already
well established as the de facto industry standard. It covers about 90% of
today's Contactless smart card market with more than 300-million card ICs
in use around the world and has proven its reliability with more than a
billion transactions carried out over the last three year," Maurer.
cards hold up to 15 different applications on the same card. This means
that the same card can be used to do your shopping or as a bus ticket,
phone card or even a season ticket to the cricket," he explained.
"Mifare has two major
advantages over its competitors. Firstly all Mifare products have to be
certified by an independent body, guaranteeing that they are compatible,
and secondly, companies are working together to strengthen and extend
Mifare as the standard for Contactless chip cards, while independently
developing their own Mifare products, providing customers with a broad and
competitive range of products," noted Maurer.
"The smart card has a
full read/write functionality. Transactions take place in the form of a
wireless RF communication, from a distance of up to 100mm from the reader
and are completed in well under 0,25 seconds. This type of time-saving
transaction is ideal for high traffic areas like bus terminals and
airports. The smart card can also be put into watches, bracelets, cuff
links or almost any medium," he said.
A portable RWD can be used
to facilitate communication in an environment with no cabling between PC
and the RWD. Such a portable device can communicate with both the PC and a
RWD, one at a time, and is used to carry configuration data to the RWDs
and transactions to the PC. Communication is either by infrared or
All Mifare compatible
smart cards can be read by any Mifare reader, reducing infrastructure
costs and eliminating wider compatibility issues.
Banks can exploit the high
transaction volumes generated with Contactless smart card schemes in
public transport, to achieve the critical mass. In turn, service providers
in public transport can have their application loaded onto a bankcard,
without having to issue there own cards.
The cards are available in
a 8k bit or 64k bit and have a maximum possible 13 application sectors
each with separate read and write keys.
The system is able to
handle multiple cards thanks to an anti collision algorithm and the data
transferred is encrypted according to DES3 standard and authenticated
according to the ISO/IEC DIS 9798-2 standard. On each transmitted block of
data there is a cyclic redundancy (CRC) and parity check to ensure
The readers manufactured
by Murton System Technologies are targeted at applications where dynamic
information can be stored and updated. Depending on the application, the
read/write device (RWD) may include a LCD display, keypad, I/O ports and
Murton System Technologies,
established in 1979, offer specialized electronic production services
including, local and international component sourcing of all active,
passive and electromechanical components as well as printed circuit cards,
assembly of single sided, double sided, multi layer, surface mount, mixed
technology PCB, and complete functional testing and burn-in testing to a
number of international standards. Integration and testing of PCB and,
sub-assemblies, sub racks and final assemblies. MSTech also offer third
party sourcing and production capacity is geared for runs ranging from a
few tens, to tens of thousands. Products cover complete turnkey
applications as well as original equipment manufacture (OEM) components
incorporating standard products or user specified firmware.