Contactless Interface

MCS was at the forefront of the contactless interface technology revolution which started in the 90’s. Although contactless communication was used in transit fare cards then, this technology was not available on smart card ICs.

Contactless Inlay

We developed the first commercial contactless smart card inlay which combined a contactless interface IC named CIF1, a smart card IC and an antenna. This system, operating at 300kHz frequency and 19,200 baud rate, was successfully packaged into a thin inlay and became the key component of the first e-passport launched in 1998.

In 2002, our design migrated to the 13.56MHz frequency band based on a new contactless interface IC, aptly named CIF2, with lower component count and BOM cost, better reliability and higher endurance.  These milestones were achieved before contactless smart card ICs became commonplace.

Reader Module

In tandem with the contactless inlay technology, MCS designed and developed contactless reader modules which handle the data exchange between the contactless inlays and the host PC.  Initially built exclusively with discrete analog components and logic ICs, such reader modules evolved to using FPGA in order to lower component count but we stopped short of creating ASICs.

Card Converter

As a spin-off product, we developed an apparatus to convert contact cards to contactless cards. The apparatus enabled contact cards and readers to remain useful while the card infrastructure gradually evolves to contactless technology. Alternatively, a single such apparatus can convert all contact cards to contactless cards thereby extending the lifetime of the existing cards.


CIF1 Contactless Inlay (left) and CIF2 Contactless Inlay (right)

 CIF1 CIF2 inlays

CIF2 Contact/less Converter

CIF2 converter

Reader Board

Reader board