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Thursday 26 April 2001

Infineon Second Quarter Results

Semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG has announced second quarter results for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2001, with revenues reaching Euro 1.65 billion, increasing 8 per cent year-on-year. This growth, says the company, was driven by strong demand in its Wireline Communications, Security & Chip Card ICs and Automotive & Industrial business groups. Infineon maintained the revenue levels of the previous quarter despite the currently volatile market environment.

EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) decreased to Euro 10 million, down Euro 243 million year-on-year and down Euro 436 million from the previous quarter of this year, which included an one-time pre-tax gain of Euro 202 million. Infineon's lower earnings were mainly due to the continued fall of prices for memory products and the slowdown in the demand for mobile handsets. Net income in the second quarter was Euro 23 million, down Euro 123 million from the same quarter of the last fiscal year and Euro 257 million from the previous quarter of this year.

In the Security & Chip Card ICs group, quarterly revenues rose strongly to Euro 190 million, an increase of 144 per cent over the second quarter of the last fiscal year, and 23 per cent over the previous quarter of this fiscal year. EBIT improved to Euro 36 million, up Euro 26 million from the second quarter of fiscal year 2000 and Euro 7 million from the previous quarter of this year. Increased productivity and a successful product shift towards higher margin businesses, especially in the chip card-controller market, drove the segment's continued strong growth in revenues and EBIT.

Major developments for the Security & Chip Card ICs group in the second quarter included: production start for the 16-bit/64K byte chip card controller for high-end GSM platforms, introduction of the world's first 64K byte SIM card controller, strategic supplier of MultiMediaCards for MP3-accessory for Siemens mobile phones, and strengthened leadership in secure chip card controllers with the Infineon 66plus series achieving certification under the Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC).

Infineon says that the current market situation in the semiconductor industry remains volatile with little visibility. Infineon's outlook varies for its different business segments. The company remains confident about strong year-on-year revenue growth and positive EBIT margin development in its Wireline Communications, Security & Chip Card ICs and Automotive & Industrial businesses. It adds that visibility on the development in the mobile communications market remains low. At the moment there are no clear signs of an early recovery in demand for mobile phones. Therefore, Infineon cannot exclude a weaker performance of its Wireless Communications group in the third quarter. Nevertheless, some of Infineon's customers continue to report that they expect a positive development in the second half of the calendar year.

Contact: Katja Schlendorf, Infineon Technologies AG
Tel: +49 89 234-26555


Ramtron Begins FRAM Production Shipment

Ramtron International Corporation has announced the on-time shipment of 256-kilobit FRAM memory devices to subcontractors that manufacture products designed by UK-based Ampy Automation Digilog Limited. This is the first production shipment toward a $65 million volume purchase agreement between Ramtron and Ampy that was announced in August 2000, and represents the beginning of the volume ramp-up to the first of several expected subcontractors.

Contact: Elizabeth Eschbach, Ramtron
Tel: +1 719 481 7004


High Security for Dutch Burn Information System

Dutch Burn Information System (DBIS), a project initiated by the "Nederlands Brandwonden Stichting" (Dutch Burn Foundation), a non-profit organisation that conducts research about burn injuries, is protecting its database with a high security system from Keyware which includes Smart Cards, PKI and digital certificates of a Trusted Third Party through Keyware's Central Authentication Server (CAS) with Layered Biometric Verification (LBV).

DBIS is a Web-based central database containing medical records of burn patients throughout The Netherlands. Only burn specialists who have been originally registered and authorised by a public notary can access the database with an Internet browser.

Luc Taal, DBIS project manager, said: "Due to privacy regulations we were only allowed by government to implement the DBIS project if we used a highly secure authentication and encryption system. Since we are using the Internet to transport data and present reports, there is a need for a secure infrastructure that addresses assurance, confidence, and confidentiality."

DigiNotar, a digital public notary, was selected as Trusted Third Party for the information security for the DBIS project. DigiNotar registers the DBIS end-users (surgeons, nurses, psychologists) and issues digital certificates. The DBIS database and Keyware servers are physically stored in the protected buildings of DigiNotar. Personnel, physical and administrative security procedures are in place to protect the DBIS computers, disks, backup tapes, computer rooms, buildings and stored data.

Users that are legally registered by DigiNotar and allowed to access the DBIS database are given a Smart Card that contains their digital certificates and bio-templates. To verify a user's identity, the user must speak a password and deliver a fingerprint during login for comparison with the voice and fingerprint stored on the card. If the verification is positive, the system unlocks the private key stored on the Smart Card enabling access the DBIS database through a firewall.

Contact: Liz Marshall, Keyware
Tel: +1 781 933 1311, ext. 235


Rosetta USB Token Receives FIPS 140-1 Certification

SPYRUS has announced that its Rosetta USB token is the first USB-based cryptographic token to receive Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Pub 140-1 certification. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the body responsible for assuring conformance of commercial products to government security standards, issued the certificate this month.

Rosetta USB is certified as meeting FIPS 140-1 Level 2, confirming the strength of its tamper-evident design. This achievement marks an enormous change within the USB Token industry where, according to SPYRUS, several hacks or security breaches of competing USB tokens have been reported.

"With the FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification, commercial customers will know that the Rosetta USB is a reliable platform for security which has been validated by an independent third party," said Sue Pontius, President and CEO of SPYRUS.

Contact: Bill Bialick, SPYRUS
Tel: +1 410 964 6400

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