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A Report from the 3rd Seminar on Latest Developments in Smart Card Manufacturing

May 16, 2013

44 Card Manufacturing Companies & Factories

7 Chip Manufacturing Companies

8 Equipment Manufacturing Companies

On 11 April 2013, APSCA organised the 3rd international Seminar on Latest Developments in Smart Card Manufacturing The seminar was held in Shenzhen, China and brought together senior representatives from a wide cross-section of smart card industry sectors including card and chip manufacturers, local and international equipment manufacturers.
This year, the seminar focused on the challenges, recent developments, trends and future business for manufacturing smart cards, particularly dual-interface cards, contactless cards and other contactless form factors.
Over 180 Delegates from 9 Countries & Territories
This year, 184 delegates attended the seminar including representatives from 44 card manufacturing companies, 7 chip manufacturing companies and 11 equipment manufacturing companies from China, France, Germany, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan and the USA, again, becoming the largest gathering of smart card manufacturers to participate in a regional industry event. Simultaneous translation was provided.

Panel Discussion
During the seminar a panel of technology experts from the smart card production supply chain answered questions and discussed the current and future issues facing manufacturers of smart cards, contactless cards, dual-interface cards as well as new types of products and form factors which are increasingly required by the market.
Full Set of Conclusions from the Seminar
A complete set of over 35 key conclusions are available in APSCA's Report of Conclusions from the 3rd Seminar on Latest Developments in Smart Card Manufacturing.

During the presentations and panel discussions, the following issues and points were raised:

  • From discussions in the seminar, participants agreed that there are 6 or 7 well-known methodologies for manufacturing dual-interface cards (there may be other lesser-known techniques) although the definitions vary somewhat.
  • The Muelbauer flexible bump process can produce up to 2500 cards/hour (5000 cards/hour with 2 machines) and reworking is possible, although Muelbauer claim 99.99% yield
  • Muelbauer's flexible bump technology has already been deployed and used in China for over 5 years with a proven record of reliability
  • Muelbauer claim that their consumable costs are less than EUR0.01/card and that all required components and consumables are always in stock in China
  • Many major dual-interface card manufacturers in China have upgraded production equipment to utilize visual inspection to improve card production yield
  • Four major domestic chip card manufacturers have now received certification from China UnionPay to supply chips for the financial card sector and are ready for mass production
  • Golden Spring claims a 99.5% yield for their dual-interface card manufacturing technology and reworking of faulty cards is also possible
  • Golden Spring claims a maximum production rate of 4000 cards/hour and a consumable cost of around RMB0.07/card
  • There are now two companies offering coil-on-module solutions for dual-interface cards with no physical connection between the module and the antenna
  • Smart Packaging Solutions (SPS) has previously only used inlays from one manufacturer but is now setting up local inlay supply chains within China
  • Infineon is the latest company to offer a coil-on-module solution. Infineon solution is currently only supporting aluminium etched and antennas for the inlay
  • Infineon and SPS have a cross licensing agreement for the coil-on-module technology and there are no IP-related issues for card manufacturers using either solution
  • As part of their module packaging solutions to support contactless cards, NXP is now offering a new thinner module with a smaller footprint
  • NXP's new MOA8 module is only 250uM fitness with a 3.5 x 6.25mm outline and can be used for public transport, access management, contactless banking and loyalty cards
  • The NXP MOA8 module is enabled by a die size of only 1.5 x 1.5mm. Although the module has a significantly smaller footprint, the width of the antenna pads remain the same
  • Despite the migration of China's bank card chip migration, the magnetic stripe is expected to remain on bank cards in China for the foreseeable future
  • Display card technology developed in China is already being supplied to the local market. These display card manufacturers have their own intellectual property to provide the technology to any card manufacturer in both local and overseas markets
  • Card personalisation productivity is affected by seven key factors, four of which include equipment production, yield capacity, system flexibility and production assignments
  • The SIM card market in China has become so commoditized that it is now difficult for card manufacturers to justify investing in new SIM card production equipment
  • It is not clear if NFC will become successful in China and be able to drive a market for NFC SIM cards with higher margins and reinvigorate the China SIM card business.

Presentation Materials
Presentation materials from the 3rd Seminar on Latest Developments in Smart Card Manufacturing can be downloaded by APSCA members from the APSCA website using their APSCA member passwords. Please click here and select APSCA Meeting 141. Non-members who attended the forum can also download the presentations by using the guest ID="guest141" and password="cx19trok".


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