SEATTLE -- Prior to the start of next week's WinHEC Conference here, smart-card supplier Gemplus International SA and Texas Instruments Inc. today announced a technology licensing agreement to provide smart-card reader functionality in notebook and desktop PCs.
Dallas-based TI said it will integrate Gemplus' GemCore smart-card interface into its UltraMedia CardBus controller devices. These controller chips will be targeted at a new generation of CardBus products with built-in smart-card functionality and complying with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) specification. The controllers will also support the EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) format, said TI.
Smart-card reader technology in desktop and notebook computers is "an important step to help build the infrastructure necessary for secure information exchange," said analyst Shalini Chowdhary of Frost & Sullivan, who was quoted by TI and Gemplus in the announcement of the lice nsing pact.
TI and Gemplus of France said more than one billion smart cards were shipped in 2000, and the volume is expected to exceed three billion by 2004. The two companies said they believe new applications for GemCore-based CardBus controllers will include security systems for online banking and shopping as well as secure data exchange.
Terms of the licensing agreement and partnership were not released.