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March 6, 1988

SMART MOVE: MITSUBISHI LAUNCHES ITS EMBEDDED MICROPROCESSOR CARDS IN THE UK

By CBR Staff Writer

After two expensive years of development, Mitsubishi Electric Corp has announced a range of embedded microprocessor Smart Cards, which it plans to start shipping into the UK later this year. The Smart Card is the same size as a standard credit card and combines a proprietary 8-bit Mitsubishi MF5082 microprocessor with 256 bytes of static RAM, and a 7Kb ROM or 8Kb PROM memory chip. Mitsubishi plans to customise the Smart Card within these memory options to meet a variety of debit, credit, identity and security applications. Trials in Japan are currently being conducted with the Mitsubishi and Nanto Banks, Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance and Kinsho Store, while Mitsubishi employees have been experimenting with the card in the staff canteen. Long term, Matsubishi hope to integrate the microprocessing unit and the memory technology on to a single chip, and replace gold electrical contacts with an inductive reading facility similar to the one developed by GEC. The cards will be manufactured in Japan, and will sell here at between UKP2 and UKP5 apiece.

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