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[Muscle] driving ICCs from bios
From: Peter Williams (home_pwmsn.com)
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 11:33:55 CDT
We need to rethink the smartcard interfacing rationales. Put succintly, do
we even need
the gemplus-style reader chip?
What work is it really doing, apart from busy-work? Why do we need a T1
relay point? and propreitary protocols between PC and chip?
Here in the US, a 3mbps downstream, 256bits upstream pipe costs $40 a month.
IP v6 end-end flow control protocols are now omnipresent in the backbone, so
bursts are controlled with eservation slots. With PCs doing little real work
with their 1 GHz pentiums most of the time, there is more than ample
bandwidth in both CPU, frontend bus, network card, and IP connection
to drive a remote ICC synchronously - with no async. In the wireless world,
things are even better, both at the device level and in the G3 network,
given the avoidance of packet switched signalling.
If we you look at the devices the US military is procuring for its general
office systems, the chips all support both sync and async electrical
interfacing. Sync is used, generally, only during personalization. Nothing
prevents sync being used operationally though, given the i2C protocol has
the handshake to allow the slower peer to throttle the data rate using the
With the PC bios opening up from intel and linux community (surely a
national security threat in the older doctrine, given the bios involvement
in covert surveillance practices!), developers can interface directly to
ICCs over sync.
Just one programmer putting I2C for 80% of the popular motherboards into
linux, the linux bios, or PCS-lite can have tremendous influence on actual
Of course, this plays two ways. Intel & co must be reasoning that a complete
rejig of the bios is strategically necessary, using openness as the tactic,
mainly so a new generation of "practices" can be introduced - practices more
suited to mass connectivity, and the changing needs of society for constant
surveillance of the ICCs in the currency notes (already here in pilot), the
stamps (about 12 months away), the train tickets (Uk onboard already), the
passports (done deal), the home-based criminal ankle bracelets (US only) the
pets (Southern California only fetish, to predict when pet need an
"psychological evaluation" based on constant behavior analysis; drug company
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