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SPS and Infineon sign a cross license agreement

Thursday 7 February 2013

Smart Packaging Solutions (SPS) and Infineon Technologies just signed a cross licensing agreement covering their intellectual property for the technology SPS calls “Inductive Coupling” and Infineon “Coil on Module”.


This technology is at the core of SPS manufacturing process for its dual technology cards (with contact and contactless interfaces). Thanks to inductive coupling, antennas are coupled together without the need for an electrical connection. In addition to a reduced cost, inductive coupling, as is implemented in SPS E-Booster technology, ensures the best level of reliability for dual technology smart cards. Infineon new “Coil on Module” package combines a security chip and antenna that makes a radio frequency (RF) connection to the antenna embedded on the plastic payment card. Using an RF link rather than the common mechanical-electrical connection between the card antenna and the module, improves the robustness of the payment card and simplifies card design and manufacturing, making it more efficient and up to five times faster than with conventional technologies.


Card manufacturers benefit from this technology in a number of ways:

  • Simplified production processes increase yield, consequently decreasing manufacturing costs,
  • Existing production plants for contact-based chip cards can be used for Dual Interface cards with no further investments,
  • Previous manufacturing methods required adaptation of the card antenna design to the respective chip. Each “Coil on Module” chip/module, combination now uses the same type of card antenna. This reduces the card manufacturer's design and testing expenses and simplifies stock management,
  • By using inductive coupling technology, the chip module can be implanted into the card up to five times faster than with conventional production methods.


Both Infineon and SPS are confident that the agreement will be beneficial to customers, for example, enabling freedom of choice of suppliers and securing intellectual property rights regarding the use of such technology by both parties.


Dual technology banking cards are bound to represent the largest volumes for future deployments of payment and banking cards according to industry analysts. IMS Research (an IHS company) establishes that “annual volumes of smart payment and banking cards shipped are forecast to increase from 1.1 billion in 2011 to 3.5 billion in 2017”.