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 FRom smart cards to sMArt Objects Technology(FORMAT)
Funded under 5th FWP (Fifth Framework Programme)
Research area:
2000-5.1.5 CPA5: Smart cards

FORMAT will develop an innovative card technology for multi-application cards with more user-friendly interfaces. FORMAT multi-function smart cards will support interactivity between users and card applications, increase ease-of-use, strengthen security and trust, and facilitate large deployment of card applications thanks to higher user acceptance. These are key objectives of the eEurope Smart Card Charter

FORMAT will develop and validate a card technology that supports a number of functions on ISO standard cards, and validate that such multi-function cards can be manufactured in an industrially and economically viable manner. FORMAT will support open card systems to facilitate the implementation of multi-application cards and script language driven peripheral functions. FORMAT targets in particular multi-application card markets where more complex cards will efficiently challenge multiple card solutions. The flexible concept will allow to offer cards with custom combinations of functions within short time-to-market, reducing cost and delays of dedicated card development and certification procedures. Additional card functions will provide advanced security and user interfaces: on-card matrix display, keyboard, long-range contactless interface, powered by a rechargeable battery will support more ease-of-use and full mobile user interactivity (any time and any place).

Work description:
The technical work will cover the definition of the card design and the HW/SW architecture and some technology development for functions that are currently not available with the suitable characteristics. FORMAT will have dual-chip architecture to separate the peripheral functions from the secure card application functions. Innovative technology developments are required to provide a matrix display based on existing bi-stable flexible segment display technology, an interface chip supporting script driven management of peripheral functions, a rechargeable battery providing enough power for the targeted life time and a flex circuit for the assembly of complex card configurations. For other functions (contactless interface, keyboard, buzzer, biometrics sensor) no basic development is required. The main issue will be to select the most suitable components available and to validate their integration in a smart card, by respecting the high mechanical and validate their integration in a smart card, by respecting the high mechanical and leading experts from industry and research, will be the assembly / embedding technology to enable the manufacturing of multi-function smart cards in an economically and industrially viable manner.
The FORMAT card technology will be validated through a number of prototype cards with different combination of functions. The FORMAT project strategy will allow for early starting, incremental test and validation tasks, providing prototypes cards with increasing complexity, and allowing for feedback in order to fine-tune the technical developments. This approach will contribute to manage the risks and optimise the results of this highly challenging development. The validation phase will include field tests with FORMAT multi-application cards. Those will focus on the evaluation of the added value of FORMAT technology (e.g. improved user interface and security functions) for end-users.

M4: Specifications;
M10: Component specifications;
M16: Software simulation completed;
M20: Manufacturing process validated;
M24: Prototypes
M30: Evaluation report.

5264129 euro
Cost-sharing contracts
2743000 euro

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