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November 7, 1994

DREXLER ADDS SMART CARD CHIP TO ITS OPTICAL CARD

By CBR Staff Writer

Drexler Technology Corp, whose plastic-covered optical cards are used by British Telecommunications Plc as Phone Cards here in the UK, is getting sufficiently nervous about the effect on its business of embedded microprocessor Smart Cards that it has decided to neutralise the threat by embracing it. It has launched a a multi-function chip and optical Smart Card that features a standard integrated circuit chip on one side of the card and the usual 1Mb plus of read-write optical data storage on the other side. The idea is that the optical memory stripe adds data storage capabilities to the Smart Card for things such as medical records for the elderly, vehicle warranty and service records if the card is issued in conjunction with an automobile manufacturer, or data involving frequent-buyer programmes. The Mountain View company reckons that by including the cheap optical stripe, it is possible to minimise the cost of the card by using a small capacity memory chip instead of an expensive, larger memory chip.

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