Smart card reader
A smart card is an integrated circuit card that forms a part of a circuit or system when engaged with a smart card interface. Smart cards are used for a variety of applications including electronic game cards, identification badges, and data storage media such as electronic books. Smart cards are becoming increasingly more popular for security and personal identification applications. For example, smart cards are currently being used for storing sensitive data such as medical records, banking information, etc. Smart cards have one or more microcontrollers embedded in them which manage access to, and storage of, sensitive data that is actually stored in memory devices on the smart card. The smart chip included on a smart card provides a means for secured electronic transactions and a means for identification. The embedded chip includes memory and enables the reading and writing of data onto the chip. Data that might be stored in a smart card includes bank account numbers, personal data as well as a complete medical history, or the electronic equivalent of currency. The integrated chip is embedded in the smart card and operates to process specific transactions. The data may be encrypted for security purposes and, thus, enable the user to use the card within a multitude of applications, such as credit card transactions, computer access capabilities, wireless communications, banking, satellite TV and government identification. The smart card uses a serial interface and receives its power from an external source such as a smart card reader. There are various types of smart cards including contact type smart cards, contactless type smart cards and hybrid type (both contact and contactless) smart cards. A contactless type smart card system includes a contactless card reader and a contactless smart card. The contactless card reader generates an electromagnetic signal having a predetermined frequency. A contact type smart card is placed in a position of full insertion, in which the card is electrically connected, and the card extracted by the user after use using ejection means built into a connector. The connector is mounted on a circuit board, with the contacts having tails soldered to traces on the board. Most contacts carry signals, and usually one contact is a ground contact.
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