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Issue No. 03 - June (1996 vol. 16)
ISSN: 0272-1732
pp: 14-24
Smart-cards have the tremendous advantage, over their magnetic stripe ancestors, of being able to execute cryptographic algorithms locally in their internal circuitry. This means that the user's secrets (be these PIN codes or keys) never have to leave the boundaries of the tamper-resistant silicon chip, thus bringing maximum security to the overall system in which the cards participate. Smart-cards contain special-purpose microcontrollers with built-in self-programmable memory and tamper-resistant features intended to make the cost of a malevolent attack far superior to the benefits. As cryptography progresses, so does silicon technology : new silicon geometries and cryptographic processing refinements are introduced at a fast pace by the semiconductor manufacturers serving this industry. This article is both a survey of the existing crypto-dedicated microprocessors and an attempt to describe some of their possible evolutions. 600 million IC cards will be manufactured in 1996 throughout the world.
Smart cards, cryptography, public-key security, ICs for smart cards

D. Naccache and D. M'Raïhi, "Cryptographic Smart Cards," in IEEE Micro, vol. 16, no. , pp. 14-24, 1996.
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