Samsung’s Got a New All-in-One Security Chip

It could make credit cards faster to use and much harder to steal

Samsung has revealed its latest in fingerprint security integrated circuits (ICs), which combines fingerprint reading, encryption, and secure information storage all by itself.

The new fingerprint IC, dubbed S3B512C, is intended to act as an all-in-one option for biometric card security. Current biometric cards use separate chips for fingerprint scanning, information storage and protection, and encryption. By having a single IC handle all those functions, Samsung hopes to optimize biometric card design and streamline how we use them.

Stack of multicolored credit cards close-up view with selective focus

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A card with the S3B512C chip would be able to read your fingerprint, authenticate and store that information for future use, and securely encrypt the information against tampering. It's the kind of security likely to be used in credit cards, but it would also be useful for student, employee, or membership identification. You know, for stuff like secure building access or situations that could benefit from more secure identity verification.

According to Samsung, the S3B512C chip would lead to faster credit card transactions, too (no need to enter a PIN), and also prevent fraudulent use due to the layers of security it provides. Since the user's fingerprint is stored on the card and required for use, if the card were ever lost or stolen, it would be functionally useless to anyone else.

Samsung's all-in-one security IC

Samsung

Samsung also alleges the chip's "anti-spoofing technology" could prevent security circumvention techniques such as using artificial (i.e., copied) fingerprints.

As for when we might see the S3B512C chip in action, well, that's up to the various card manufacturers and whether or not they want to use it. Simply manufacturing a card can take a week or two, but designing one around new technology will most likely take a bit longer than that.

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