Tesla Model S Plaid arrives E3 2021 schedule Amazon Prime Day 2021 Best gifts for Dad Millions more stimulus checks sent

Gemplus boosts smart cards

French smart card giant Gemplus slashes prices on chips to power smart card readers.

In a big boost to the slow-moving smart card initiative, French manufacturer Gemplus says it will license chips for smart-card readers to high-volume manufacturers of keyboards, PCs, phones, vending machines, and personal digital assistants, for less than $10 per device.

The move by Gemplus, the world's largest chip-card maker, could speed the day when smart-card readers become commonplace, a step deemed critical for wide adoption of smart cards for both consumer and business uses.

Smart cards--plastic cards the size of credit cards that contain computer chips?can be used for electronic cash, personal data, or security features in a variety of business and consumer applications.

The move by Gemplus, labeled the GemCore initiative, would make licenses available for the operating system, interface chips, and engineering support for Gemplus? smart-card reader.

Manufacturers including VeriFone have suggested smart-card readers could cost as little as $50 in volume, but Gemplus' offer could drive prices even lower.

Gemplus hopes the package will provide a cheap, easy way for manufacturers to embed smart-card readers into various hardware devices.

The GemCore reader will support emerging standards for how PCs interact with smart cards, such as the PC/SC Workgroup, secure Internet credit-card transactions, such as Secure Electronic Transactions or SET, and a European initiative for a smart-card version of SET, called EMV-SET.

Gemplus Group, a French company with 1996 revenues of $440 million, is the world?s leading producer of smart cards. It expect that by year's end, it will be able to produce 900 million cards.