SmartLX - Advanced Secure Low Power Smart Card controller Platform
The mayor success factors for identification technology in the furture are the technical differentiation (cost, security, performace) and the availability of development tools which both also determine the manufacturing costs. These costs can be reduced by using efficient processor systems and IC architecture. By including the most security functionalities directly into the CPU a reduction of the peripheral components of the digital subsystem can be achieved. By using the FLASH-technology it will be possible to change the system software in a costefficient manner. To assure a long lifespan of the FLASH-memory, several wear-leveling concepts were developed. Each block of the FLASH-memory can tolerate only a finite number of program/ erase cycles before becoming unreliable. The elaborated concepts are based on the idea to relocate often used data between the blocks, so that program/erase cycles are distributed evenly among all of the blocks in the device. The functionality of wear-leveling is shown by the means of an hardware copier for the SystemC model. SystemC is a classlibrary for C++ which extends the language by makros and functions to model hardware. The implementation consists of a memory extension for the 8051 C and a hardware copymachine for the flash memory. The XRAM module is used as a manager module to administrate the access to EEPROM, RAM and FLASH and also for the copier. To securely exchange the system software in field, two concepts with different areas of application were developed. The first concept covers the use case of an SmartCard like identification badges, the second is based on the case of an UICC which is integrated into a mobile phone. Both concepts are designed to assure confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of system software while transmitted over insecure networks and devices. Due to the present problem, a literature research was performed to depict the current state of the art. Since the previous wear-leveling solutions are based on complex systems (SSD, USB flash drive) the elaborated wear-leveling concepts had to be adapted to the limited resources of the SmartCard platform. For the secure transfer of system software there exists several specified concepts at the SmartCard-sector. These were adapted to the current problem.
Staff member
Project Manager at the Organizational Unit
Christian Steger
Ass.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Participant / Staff Member
Erik-Kristian Gera-Fornvald
BSc MSc
Stefan Orehovec
Dipl.-Ing. BSc
Funding sources
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG) , FFG
External Partners
  • Steirische Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft m.b.H., SFG
  • FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH
Research areas
  • Hardware/Software-Codesign
Start: 20.09.2011
End: 29.11.2013

Selected Publications