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The ICC and Harvard Architecture - Practices

In this article Iím going to present you with a quick overview of the Smart Cards and then move on to exploring the ways they can be integrated to existing services in order to provide value added services or a new range of secure application.

  1. Smart Cards: An Introduction
  2. Use and Types of Smart Cards
  3. The ICC and Harvard Architecture
  4. Memory in Smart Cards
  5. Communicating with the Outside World
  6. APDU
  7. TPDU and ATR
  8. Operating System and File System
  9. Standards Governing Smart Cards
By: Digvijay Chauhan
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October 11, 2004

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The ICC itself

The ICC cards usually employ a low power micro-controller like Intelģ 8051 or AVRs from ATMELģ as the core CPU with the clock frequency up to 5 MHz or so. These micro-controllers are available in 8, 16 or 32 bit flavors. Basically the decision is governed by the requirements of the applications the card needs to support.

The architecture of these CPUs varies as I mentioned above. The Intel uses the Von Neumann architecture where as the AVRs from ATMEL use the Harvard architecture.

Smart Cards

Figure 3: The Harvard Architecture 
(Source: http://www.ee.nmt.edu/~rison/ee308_spr99/supp/990119/harvard.gif)

Also some ICCs also use two CPUs just to enhance their capabilities. For providing advanced security features such as using RSA for cryptography much more processing power is required so this is provided the help of these special purpose co-processors. The ICCs with these chips are expensive as compared to single chip ICCs.

>>> More Practices Articles          >>> More By Digvijay Chauhan

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