Smart Cards

Does anyone have any experience programming Smart Cards? As I understand it, you can purchase cards which have an AVR micro-controller inside, and with the right hardware and software, you can write your own program (in C++?) which will run on the micro-controller when it's inserted into a reader.

Any guidance is appreciated!

Thanks!

I guess start by getting the right hardware and software. I don't know what that is tho. We have PCs at work into which we slide a card that has contacts on the face, and the PC reads it. IT boys set it all up for the company. No idea where the blanks come from, what the hardware is, or what the software is.

google smart card reader, lots of hits, such as: http://www.idzone.com/R31210220-01-PF.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Zone-Shopping&kmas=1&kmca=Product+Ads&kmag=Card-Reader&kmkw=R31210220-01&gdftrk=gdfV21590_a_7c28_a_7c3404_a_7cR31210220_d_01&gclid=CKXpjLr87cgCFYkWHwodttUGUg

Thanks! I've been doing research all weekend. I actually purchased and have that reader sitting on my desk. What I'm having trouble finding is a clear-cut example or tutorial on how to write a program in some language and download that to the Smart Card.

I don't know if the cards have a reprogrammable controller in them. Might be the equivalent of one-time-programmable chips that have a program loaded by the factory before it is installed in the credit card form factor, and the program just reads/writes memory when connected to a reader.

That sounds entirely possible. My only clue that certain cards may be re-programmable is this: http://www.basiccard.com/

How it Works

The BasicCard Toolkit includes everything you need to get started. Install the software and 
smart card reader/writer and you are ready to start.
Follow our examples or write your own application. When you are done, use the BasicCard 
compiler to convert your application to P-Code and load it to the EĀ²Prom of your BasicCard. 
You have just programmed your first smart card. It is that simple!

What more are you after?

A. Trying to understand how there aren't so many more companies out there that offer something like this, given the prevalence of Smart Cards

B. This site seems like it's from the 80's, and the company is in Germany, and the software comes on CD (I have an iMac with no CD :)).

C. Looking for something that can be programmed in C++.

D. Was kinda hoping there'd be something more "modern"

Keep googling then, let us know what you find. I am not so PC limited, having a Lenovo laptop workstation with CD, USB slots, SD slots, looks like a PC card slot even - never tried it.

Hi,

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Kits,-Science-%26-Learning/Electronic-Project-Kits/Video/Full-Function-Smart-Card-Reader-Programmer-Kit/p/KC5361

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Active-Components/Integrated-Circuits/Microcontrollers/Wafer-Card-with-PIC16F84A-%2B-24LC16B-inbuilt-/p/ZZ8800

http://www.kanda.com/products/AMT/MFP-2011.html

Tom...... :)

Parallax sells a Smart Card reader for $10. They also have cards for $1.25 (it looks like these cards just have an EEPROM, not a microcontroller).

Edit: I think the Parallax reader can just read the card. I don't think you can program Smart Cards with it. I think this is why is costs so much less than the other devices mentioned in this thread.

When I initially wrote this post, I thought Smart Cards were similar to RFID cards but which needed contact to read. As the OP suggested, Smart Cards have embedded microcontrollers which allows them to do many things a RFID card can't. Here's a link to the Wikipedia article on the topic. The rest of my original post is pretty much worthless.

I don't think the chip inside the Smart Card is a full fledged microcontroller. I think it's just an EEPROM. I think a Smart Card can just be used for storing a bit of data (okay it can store more than "a bit", it can store many bytes). MIFARE RFID readers are less expensive and I think the cards cost less as well. The RFID cards have password protected sectors. I've never really seen an appeal to using Smart Cards since the RFID cards seem to do the job just as well and cost less. Of course an RFID card can be read without your knowledge but I don't think hacking the data on the card is a trivial matter. Edit: I've been reading some of the links about Smart Cards and I learned I don't know much about Smart Cards. Interesting stuff.

osmosis311: Does anyone have any experience programming Smart Cards? As I understand it, you can purchase cards which have an AVR micro-controller inside, and with the right hardware and software, you can write your own program (in C++?) which will run on the micro-controller when it's inserted into a reader.

Any guidance is appreciated!

Thanks!

Atmel completed the sale of their Secure Microcontroller Solutions smart card business to INSIDE Secure at 2011. The chance has new smart card base on AVR micro-controller is very minimum.

osmosis311: ... you can write your own program (in C++?) which will run on the micro-controller when it's inserted into a reader. ...

Not C++, either C or Java.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/embedded/javacard/overview/index.html

NXP and Infineon are active Secure Microcontroller Solutions smart card supply.