Gartner Research

Smart Card Technology: Overview

Published: 28 August 2000

ID: G0089817

Analyst(s): Ellen P. Walsh


A smart card resembles a conventional credit card, with an electronic semiconductor chip capable of storing and transmitting data on a computer level. There is no hard drive or monitor between a smart card and the person using it, only a square piece of plastic with an embedded piece of silicon fused to an operating system (OS). The OS supports application schemes that enable communication with a card terminal. Current technology can support more than one scheme, resulting in what is now referred to as multiapplication cards. There are a number of players in the chip card arena, such as card manufacturers, OS developers, scheme developers, scheme operators, card personalization vendors, and systems integrators.

Table Of Contents
  • Technology Basics
    • Definitions and Segmentation
    • Production Process
    • Smart Card Components
    • Operating Requirements
  • Technology Analysis
    • FeRAM
    • Business Use
    • Benefits and Risks
    • Selection Guidelines
  • Technology Leaders
  • Technology Alternatives
  • Insight

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