An integrated circuit (IC), or microelectronic circuit, is an assembly of electronic circuits fabricated on a wafer of semiconductor material, usually silicon. A smart IC is embedded in a pocket-sized card to facilitate data storage and application processing. The IC in smart cards can have all the required functions and data. So, unlike magnetic strip cards, IC smart cards don’t need access to remote data servers when processing transactions and performing other applications.
The smart card IC market was valued at USD 2.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.35%, generating a revenue of USD 4.14 billion by 2032.
Microcontroller IC and memory IC are the two most common types of smart card ICs. Below is a quick overview of these two variants:
IC Microprocessor cards: IC microprocessor cards are renowned for offering larger memory storage and greater data security than traditional magnetic strip cards. Also, IC microprocessor cards can process data on the card. The latest generation of IC microprocessor cards features 16KB memory and an 8KB processor. IC microprocessor cards have a variety of applications, including digital identity storage and providing secure access to networks.
IC memory cards: These cards can store up to 4 KB of data. But unlike microprocessor chip cards, IC memory cards don’t have any processor for manipulating data. IC memory cards rely on a card reader for data processing and are apt for applications wherein the card needs to perform fixed operations.
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Smart card IC market key players develop ICs for several applications, including:
There has been a significant rise in the number of people using contactless payment methods due to the various benefits they have to offer. The drastic shift towards contactless transaction options has boosted the adoption of smart card ICs worldwide. It is anticipated to impact the smart card IC market growth favorably.
The rapid advancement in telemedicine and other healthcare technologies has allowed patients to use smart cards to access telehealth platforms remotely. With more and more patients seeking secure and convenient ways to seek medical treatments, the demand for smart cards has seen a notable rise in recent times. The increasing demand for smart cards in healthcare is expected to boost market sales.
In November 2021, Mythic Inc. introduced its new AI chip. The chip combines flash memory and computing power to attain faster AI processing for less energy.
In January 2022, South Korean electronics corporation Samsung Electronics unveiled its new IC, "S3B512C”. The new IC uses sensors and other security elements for improved security in payment cards.
Several factors, including the rising adoption of IoT advancements and the steady shift of companies towards the digitalization of payment processes, are driving the smart card IC market demand. Rising customer inclination towards cashless payments and the introduction of advanced solutions by leading manufacturers are other factors anticipated to drive the market demand in the coming years.
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