Shenyang Piotec Technology Co.,LTD.
Shenyang Piotec Technology Co.,LTD.

The main functions and technical specifications of Advanced Smart Card Chip Reader

A smart card reader is a bridge between a smart card and a computer or other device for reading and writing data in a smart card. The main technical specifications of smart card readers include but are not limited to the following:

Interface type: A smart card reader can connect to a computer or other device through a different interface, common interface types include USB, serial port (Rs -232) , Kemu, PC/SC (PC/smart card) , NFC (near field communication) , etc. . Supporting card types: smart cards are divided into contact and non-contact two categories, different readers and writers support different types of smart cards. Contact smart cards require physical contact with the reader's contact points, while the contactless smart card communicates with the reader via radio waves.

Data transfer rate: this refers to the speed of data transfer between the reader and the smart card, usually measured in bits per second (bps) . The Data transfer rate affects the efficiency with which data is read and written. Operating Frequency: for contactless smart card readers, operating frequency is an important parameter, the common operating frequency is 13.56 MHz, which matches the operating frequency of smart cards.

Supported standards and protocols: smart cards and readers need to follow specific communication protocols and standards, such as ISO 7816(contact card) , ISO 14443(contactless card) , EMV (standard for payment systems) , etc. .

Security Performance: smart card readers need to have certain security performance to protect the security and privacy of data transmission process. This includes encryption technology, security certification and so on.

Operating Distance: for contactless readers, operating distance refers to the maximum distance that the reader can effectively read and write a smart card. This distance is affected by the design of the reader, operating frequency and environmental factors.

Compatibility: smart card readers need to be compatible with different operating systems (such as Windows, macOS, Linux) and applications.

Physical size and durability: the physical size and durability of the reader are also important considerations, depending on the application scenario.

Understanding these specifications will help users choose the right smart card reader or writer for their specific needs.

With the development of smart card personalization machine technology, field programmable gate array (FPGA) architecture has been adopted in many smart card readers. This architecture has several advantages that make it more attractive than traditional microprocessor-or microcontroller-based readers in a particular application scenario. Here are some of the main advantages of FPGA-based smart card readers:

Highly customizable: fpgas allow developers to customize hardware logic on demand, which means that smart card reader designs can be optimized for specific applications or standards. This flexibility is especially valuable in situations where specific protocols or functions need to be followed.

Parallel processing capability: unlike traditional sequential processing microprocessors, FPGA can carry out a large number of parallel processing. This makes the FPGA ideal for handling high-speed data transfers and complex data processing tasks, such as encryption/decryption operations, to improve the performance of smart card readers and writers.

Low latency: because fpgas can implement specific logical processing directly at the hardware level, they are often able to perform tasks with lower latency. This is an important advantage for applications that require quick response, such as instant payment systems.

High Efficiency: the highly optimized and parallel processing capabilities of fpgas mean that they are generally more efficient than general-purpose microprocessors in performing specific tasks. This is particularly important for smart card readers that need to run for long periods of time or work in energy-constrained environments.

Reconfigurable: a key feature of fpgas is that they can still be reconfigured or programmed after deployment to accommodate new requirements or standards. This provides flexibility, allowing smart card readers to adapt to technological developments through software updates without having to replace hardware.

Security: fpgas can implement proprietary security features, such as hardware-level encryption, that are harder to attack than software implementations. In addition, the customizability of the FPGA also means that unique security mechanisms can be designed to further enhance security. Long-term availability: compared with certain types of microprocessors or microcontrollers, FPGA designs can more easily adapt to future technological changes, thus extending the market life of the product.

Although FPGA offer these advantages, they are often more expensive than standard microprocessor or microcontroller solutions and more difficult to develop. Therefore, smart card readers based on FPGA are usually used in high-performance, security or specific function application scenarios.


In order to ensure the reliability, compatibility and safety of the smart card reader, many electrical performance tests are needed during the design and smart card production process. Therefore, the ability of electrical performance detection is also an important index to judge the advancement of smart card. These tests usually include, but are not limited to, the following:

Power Supply voltage and current detection: detection of reader supply voltage and current compliance with the specifications, ensure the smart card works within the specified voltage range, and monitor the current consumption of the reader under different operating conditions to evaluate its energy efficiency.

Signal integrity test: to evaluate the quality of the data transmission signal between the reader and the smart card, including signal amplitude, Rise and fall time, jitter, etc. to ensure the reliability and stability of the data transmission.

Interface protocol Conformance testing: check that the reader is in strict compliance with smart card communication protocols (such as ISO 7816, ISO 14443, etc.) , including command format, timing requirements, etc. , to ensure compatibility with various smart cards.

Anti-jamming ability test: evaluate the stability of the reader in the presence of external electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) to ensure that it can work in a complex electromagnetic environment.

ESD tolerance test: Tests the reader's resistance to ESD, which is a common cause of failure in electronic equipment, good ESD protection is essential to ensure the long-term stable operation of equipment.

Power consumption test: measure the power consumption of the smart card manufacturing machine in standby, activation, data transmission and other different working conditions, especially for portable or battery-powered reader to ensure battery life.

Temperature Range and stability test: evaluate the performance and stability of the reader within a specified temperature range (usually including operating and storage temperatures) to ensure that it will work well under extreme temperature conditions.

Clock frequency and stability testing: for readers requiring precise timing control, it is necessary to test the frequency accuracy and stability of internal or external clock sources.

Through these electrical performance tests, we can ensure that the smart card reader meets the high standard of performance requirements during the design and production stages and meets the needs of end users.