STMicroelectronics' Secure Microcontroller Selected by Sony for Next-Generation Payment Cards in Japan

ST technology enables Japan's first payment cards with multiple contactless applications in a single chip

Unique auto-detection RF capabilities enhance card-transaction ease and speed

Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a top-three provider of smartcard ICs, today announced that its latest dual-interface secure microcontroller has been selected by Sony to power the new micropayment-enabled cards that will reach Japanese consumers by H1 2016.

The market's most advanced dual-interface (contact / contactless) secure microcontroller, ST's ST31G480 combines high computing power and energy efficiency with superior flexibility and interoperability. It is the only device available today that can automatically detect and handle different types of radio-frequency communication used by the card readers1. This enables Sony and other OEMs to develop and deploy contactless multi-application payment cards that can operate across different standards, infrastructures, and geographies.

Slated to arrive on the market in H1 2016, the new smartcard payment solution introduced by Sony will be the first in Japan to combine both the latest VISA/MasterCard/JCB dual-interface payment schemes and the FeliCa-based payment applications in a single chip. In addition to multi-payment functionality, the ST chip-card technology ensures stable transaction speeds, robustness, and ease of use.

"The unique advantages of ST's secure microcontroller have enabled us to integrate, in a highly secure and cost-effective manner, standard payment and FeliCa-based applications in a single chip," said Kazuyuki Sakamoto, Senior General Manager, FeliCa Business Division, Sony Corporation. "This technological advancement will increase convenience for Japanese consumers by expanding the opportunities to use their payment cards in many different settings and situations with unprecedented ease."

"Our cooperation with Sony further strengthens ST's position in the digital security arena, facilitating the deployment of secure and convenient contactless solutions to tech-savvy markets like Japan and Asia," said Marie-France Florentin, General Manager, Secure Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics.

Technical Notes:
ST's ST31 chip-card microcontrollers are built on the ARM® SecurCore(TM) SC000(TM) processor that delivers outstanding computing performance and energy efficiency with support for optional MIFARE(TM) libraries and Calypso transport-card standards enhancing multi-application versatility. The ST31 platform has been designed to comply with the most stringent security requirements (EMVCo and Common Criteria EAL6+ security certifications) and cryptography standards (DES, AES, RSA and ECC). Its extremely low-power architecture helps improve communication speed and reliability in contactless applications, in which the battery-less card circuitry is powered by absorbing RF energy from the reader.

FeliCa is a contactless RFID smart-card system developed by Sony Corporation that is in widespread use in Japan and other Asian countries. It is compliant with the NFC-F standard and provides high levels of performance, flexibility and security in public transportation, e-money payment, access management, event ticketing, and customer loyalty programs.

FeliCa is a trademark of Sony Corporation

About STMicroelectronics
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power and automotive products and embedded processing solutions. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

In 2013, the Company's net revenues were $8.08 billion. Further information on ST can be found at

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1 ISO 14443 Types A, B, B'; ISO18092 Type F

ST Secure MCU Selected by Sony