Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Oberthur Win Best Prepaid Manufacturer Award

Oberthur Technologies, the world's second largest provider of security and identification solutions and services based on smart card technologies, has won for two years in a row the Best Prepaid Manufacturer category at the Prepaid Awards.

The 4th Annual Prepaid Awards Ceremony took place in London on 6th October. The Prepaid Awards is held once a year to recognise the significant achievements and successes of the prepaid sector. The event brings people and companies from across the industry to reinforce and recognise the efforts made.



Cryptography Research license DPA countermeasures to major Smartphone Manufacturer

Cryptography Research, Inc., a division of Rambus Inc. has signed a license agreement with a major smartphone manufacturer for the use of CRI's Differential Power Analysis (DPA) countermeasures patents.

Under the agreement, ongoing royalties will be paid for the use of CRI's patented innovations. Specific terms of the agreement and disclosure of the smartphone manufacturer are confidential.

"Consumers increasingly rely on their smartphones and tablets to perform financial transactions, store personal data and access premium content," said Paul Kocher, president and chief scientist of Cryptography Research. "Our DPA countermeasures technology is a key part of securing mobile devices to safeguard the data of consumers and content providers worldwide."

Differential Power Analysis (DPA) is a form of attack that involves monitoring variations in electrical power consumption of a target device and then uses advanced statistical methods to derive cryptographic keys or other secrets. Strong countermeasures to DPA are important for securing mobile devices, bank cards, pay television systems, secure identity products, secure storage media, and other electronic systems and components. Many of the world's leading security standards include requirements that devices be protected against DPA and related attacks.

Cryptography Research has developed a portfolio of more than 55 patents covering countermeasures to DPA attacks, with additional patent applications pending worldwide.



Another Blackout for Blackberry

Blackberry users suffered another blackout yesterday only hours after RIM claimed the data crash on Monday had been sorted. Users were unable to access the internet and send SMS messages.

Malik Saadi, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media has commented on the recent BlackBerry outages:

"The current situation with the BlackBerry outages couldn't come at a worse time for RIM, following some harsh criticism in recent months. Some businesses may see this as a good reason to re-evaluate their reliance on centralised servers and instead look to investing in more corporately controlled servers. Not only would this enable IT departments to minimise the risk of unforeseen collapses but it could also give employees more flexibility to use their own devices.

However, it will take more than just a couple of collapses to persuade loyal consumers of BlackBerry services to look for alternatives. Having said that if RIM does not resolve the problem once and for all, the results could be disastrous for the company in a time where it has already disappointed the financial community."



Precise and NXP Partner

NXP Semiconductors N.V. is a leading semiconductor company with about 30,000 employees working in more than 20 countries. Their contact and contactless Smart Chips are sold in a variety of industries, including national ID programs, government, IT, and security. NXP's partnership with Precise Biometrics will allow the Precise Match-on-Card technology to be used on NXP's Smart Chips. Precise Match-on-Card enables the fingerprint to be stored on the card and securely matches the fingerprint directly on the card itself. This biometric verification reduces fraud, protects personal data and provides a strong authentication of identity.

Precise Match-on-Card has a successful track record of implementations, with its Precise Match-on-Card currently in use on six national ID projects including Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Bahrain, Thailand, and Venezuela. It is also used in both physical and logical access control credentials and employee ID cards in both the private and public sectors.

NXP posted revenue of USD 4.4 billion in 2010.



Asian Market for Smart Cards Challenging Europe's Big Four

Major growth in developing markets over the last two years has allowed smaller Asian vendors, such as Eastcompeace, Watchdata, Datang, and Wuhan Tianyu, to increase their market share to 16 percent in 2010, up from just 12.4 percent in 2009. Asian vendors are increasingly challenging the top four all European vendors, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur, and Morpho, who saw their market share drop from 71.4 percent to 66.6 percent in 2010.

Much of the smart card growth continues to come from SIM shipments, which are expected to grow nearly 17 percent in 2011, with close to 500 million more SIM cards expected to be in use by the year's end. Overall, African SIM shipments jumped to 40 percent in 2010 and are expected to be up at least 21 percent for 2011. Similarly, the Middle East has been strong, while Indian shipments were 43 percent in 2010 and are expected to be 35 percent for 2011.

However, the uptake of smart cards in other sectors, particularly payment and banking, is also creating opportunities for the Asian manufacturers. "EMV is increasingly being adopted in emerging markets to reduce the risk of fraud and China is now looking to adopt the PBOC 2.0 chip and PIN standard. At the same time, we anticipate an upgrade to the existing national ID card rolling out within the next five years," says Devlin. "While the leading vendors have a strong presence in the identification and payments sectors, such moves will inevitably provide a platform and important experiences for domestic Chinese companies to leverage in other emerging markets."

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com , or call +1.516.624.2500.




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