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chip inside smart card is firmware?

Started by Matt November 30, 2004
The chip (SIM ?) inside the smart card is considered as firmware? My
understanding is that firmware means software on ROM. Or can we say
embedded software? I am confused with those terms.

Please advise. thanks!!
Matt wrote:
> The chip (SIM ?) inside the smart card is considered as firmware? My > understanding is that firmware means software on ROM. Or can we say > embedded software? I am confused with those terms. > > Please advise. thanks!!
My take: Some things are clearly hardware (e.g. TTL logic, chips in general). Other things are clearly software (e.g. Windows). Stuff that doesn't fit either category, but is somewhere in between (e.g. BIOS, or code contained on a smart card -- but not the card itself) is firmware. -- The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.
jrefactors@hotmail.com (Matt) wrote in 
news:ba8a039e.0411300800.72d15a93@posting.google.com:

> The chip (SIM ?) inside the smart card is considered as firmware? My > understanding is that firmware means software on ROM. Or can we say > embedded software? I am confused with those terms.
Generally, you have as a bsis a smart card OS, which could be considered firmware. Many cards also have applications loaded onto them, which might be considered software. Also, in some schemes, the card reader will download a temporary application to a card and execute it, but it won't be permanantly stored on the card. Hope that doesn't confuse more than it helps. Jeff.
jrefactors@hotmail.com (Matt) writes:
> The chip (SIM ?) inside the smart card is considered as firmware? My > understanding is that firmware means software on ROM. Or can we say > embedded software? I am confused with those terms. > > Please advise. thanks!!
a lot of these chips have eeprom where data &/or programming can be loaded (depending on chip rom you have). i think much of the smartcard protection profile has to do with loading programming into eeprom/flash and the operation of the loaded programming ... and frequently the partitioning provisions for multiple different loaded functions. http://niap.nist.gov/cc-scheme/pp/PP_SCSUGSMPP_V3.0.html http://www.cse-cst.gc.ca/en/services/ccs/SCSUG_PP_v30.html http://www.gammassl.co.uk/topics/OP3-ICCC2.html an issue is that the evaluation typically is of the provisions for loading programs ... as opposed to evaluation of the chip with the loaded programs. frequently they are referred to as multi-app tokens ... which is slightly misleading ... because multi-app tends to be defined as use with external applications. the more accurate designation tends to be multi-function tokens ... although not strictly requiring program loading ... the multi-function tokens that i'm aware of tend to be programming loaded into eeprom. note that most embedded implementations tend to refer to the programming loaded into eeprom/flash as firmware ... to distinquish it from "regular" software .... example is bios on most PCs. -- Anne & Lynn Wheeler | http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/
Anne & Lynn Wheeler wrote:

> i think much of the smartcard protection profile has to do with > loading programming into eeprom/flash and the operation of the loaded > programming ... and frequently the partitioning provisions for > multiple different loaded functions. > http://niap.nist.gov/cc-scheme/pp/PP_SCSUGSMPP_V3.0.html > http://www.cse-cst.gc.ca/en/services/ccs/SCSUG_PP_v30.html > http://www.gammassl.co.uk/topics/OP3-ICCC2.html
Another site that may be useful is:- http://www.smartcardalliance.org/ -- ******************************************************************** Paul E. Bennett ....................<email://peb@a...> Forth based HIDECS Consultancy .....<http://www.amleth.demon.co.uk/> Mob: +44 (0)7811-639972 .........NOW AVAILABLE:- HIDECS COURSE...... Tel: +44 (0)1235-811095 .... see http://www.feabhas.com for details. Going Forth Safely ..... EBA. www.electric-boat-association.org.uk.. ********************************************************************
Matt wrote:

> The chip (SIM ?) inside the smart card is considered as firmware? My > understanding is that firmware means software on ROM. Or can we say > embedded software? I am confused with those terms.
Take it lightly, they are purely conventional terms. An embedded designer will write the 'software' for his intelligent peripheral, then the PC programmer will talk about the interface between his software and the other's firmware. Even hardware.... if the program of a microcontroller implemented in an FPGA is 'firmware', what's the fuse map? Paul Burke
[Missing F'up2 reduction. Fixed.]

In comp.arch.embedded Matt <jrefactors@hotmail.com> wrote:
> The chip (SIM ?) inside the smart card is considered as firmware?
The chip itself: no. But there will typically be some firmware *on* that chip. It's the possibility of putting firmware (i.e. software that isn't quite as soft as some others) on it that makes this card a "smart" one. Trying to interpret much into a term like "firmware" is futile. It's not a standardized, well-defined term to begin with, so everybody feels free to do with it whatever they want. It can mean anything from "the data burnt into an FPGA to make it do what I want" to "software contained in a device which is harder to exchange than other pieces of software running on the same device." -- Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@physik.rwth-aachen.de) Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.