NASA selects Philips' advanced MIFARE® DESFire contactless chip technology to meet its secure facility access needs

Jul 26, 2004

Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Philips' advanced MIFARE® DESFire contactless chip technology to enable secure smart card access to its facilities. Compliant with the United States government's Government Smart Card Interoperability Specification (GSC-IS) standard, Philips' chip technology is being incorporated into smart cards deployed to agency employees and contractors for immediate identity authentication. Other government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Interior, are also implementing physical access systems compliant with the GSC-IS interoperability specification. Philips' MIFARE DESFire V0.6 is the first chip solution currently compliant with this specification.

In partnership with smart card system integrator MAXIMUS, NASA is the latest federal agency to move from low-frequency (125Khz) to industry-standard ISO 14443 technology for increased interoperability based on GSC-IS. Different agencies using a GSC-IS compliant physical access system based on the secure MIFARE DESFire will have the option to allow each other's physical access cards to work in different secure areas, further enhancing inter-agency collaboration.

A field trial is planned at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama this summer, with potential expansion to 2,000 employees. If the trial is successful and approval is secured from the Office of Management and Budget, NASA plans to deploy more than 100,000 smart cards before the end of the 2005 fiscal year. This number includes cards for contractors and government employees.

"Security is at the forefront of concern for our government customers today," said Jeremy Grant, vice president, enterprise solutions, MAXIMUS. "Agencies do not want to invest in systems that will not be interoperable. Through our partnership with NASA and Philips we are developing advanced smart card access control systems that will be able to work seamlessly with other federal department and agency facilities following the GSC-IS."

"Philips' proven MIFARE DESFire offers a secure and cost-effective solution for high volume use," explained Jan-Willem Reynaerts, general manager for market sector Transport and Logistics at Philips Semiconductors. "As the provider of the first GSC-IS compliant chip solution, Philips continues to be a leading innovator in the contactless smart card market, and demonstrated proponent of open standards."


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