The new design enables reduced size and BOM cost of mobile PoS contactless payment terminals without compromising performance or security.
Renesas Electronics Corp. and fabless semiconductor company Panthronics AG have launched a new design that provides manufacturers of secure mobile point-of-sale (mPoS) contactless payment terminals with a new way to reduce the size and the bill-of-materials cost of their products without compromising performance or security.
The design is based on Panthronics’ PTX100R NFC Reader IC for contactless communication, and the Renesas RA6M4 general-purpose secure microcontroller (MCU). The RA6M4 MCU, which has an Arm Cortex-M33 CPU with TrustZone technology and integrated security IP, performs all the cryptographic, key management and other security functions required for compliance with the stringent Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards and the EMVCo Level 2 standard for contactless payments. EMVCo Level 1-compliant software runs in the PTX100R.
This design based on a secure MCU offers substantial cost and size advantages over conventional mPoS terminal designs. Today, mPoS terminals feature either a combination of a general-purpose MCU with a discrete Secure Element, or a dedicated PoS-specific system-on-chip (SoC) with built-in security functions. The Panthronics/Renesas solution is superior to both:
The mPoS solution implements a comprehensive set of payment terminal functions, including EMVCo Level 1 and Level 2 ready software. This means that it provides an effective platform for terminal manufacturers to verify the concept’s compliance with the EMVCo standard, and to complete rapid design integration based on the hardware and software components supplied by Renesas and Panthronics.
The design includes a space-saving antenna which surrounds the display screen, a configuration which is only possibly because of the robust connectivity performance of the PTX100R card reader. The PXT100R’s unique sine wave architecture results in industry-best sensitivity and transmission strength, boosting the terminal’s signal-to-noise ratio and allowing for reliable coupling with payment cards or mobile phones in all usage conditions, and via an antenna placed close to an electrically noisy display.
The solution consists of two boards:
The design is expected to be available to buy from Renesas as a complete evaluation kit in early 2022. Customers looking to begin designs immediately can contact Renesas sales directly.