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Smart Card Target

Partnership Targets Billion Dollar Smart Card Market 

Denver, October 11 -- Racom Systems Inc. has entered into
a multi-million dollar partnership with Rohm Co. Ltd, a
Japanese company, to manufacture the ferroelectric chips
used in contactless, battery-free smart cards. The deal
also calls for Rohm to manufacture a new generation of
advanced microprocessor-based chips currently under
development for use in high-security financial

Rohm is currently starting up a new 0.6 micron wafer
fabrication operation in Kyoto, Japan, dedicated to the
high-volume manufacture or ferroelectric chips, and has
licensed Racom's contactless, battery-free technology
specifically for the Japanese market. Racom said the
cards are already in use in over 100 installations

Racom spokesperson Laura Keane said the
ferroelectric-based smart cards, which exchange
information with readers via radio waves instead of being
passed through a reader like a credit card, are used for
electronic ticketing: automatic fare collection on
buses, subways and trains, electronic point-of-sale, and
electronic benefits transfer.

Racom said the new cards are superior to the earlier
smart cards that use conventional semiconductor
technologies because of their unique combination of
high-speed, low-power, non-volatile operation, and high

The new smart cards have the ability to store as many as
16 different accounts, said Keane. It could hold your
checking account, credit card account, let you pay for a
bus or train ticket, and allow you access to controlled
areas within your workplace.

Keane spoke about some of the card's advantages. In
automatic fare collection, users no longer have to carry
the correct change or tokens, waiting times to board are
reduced, and the risk of robbery of bus, subway and train
operators is reduced since they have less cash on board.

"It's a stored value card," said Keane. "You put money on
the card and daily as you use it you wave it over an
antenna and it deducts the fare for that day."

Keane said electronic ticketing primarily benefits the
frequent traveler. The user would simply wave their card
over an antenna at a kiosk in the terminal after
selecting their destination and class of accommodation
for immediate ticketing. The card would have your seating
preference and frequent flyer number recorded and would
provide that information to the ticket machine.

According to Jerome Svigals, publisher of Smart Cards &
Comments and a consultant to the electronic banking
industry, contactless technology is very valuable to the
user because of its speed, convenience, ease of use, low
cost and perhaps most importantly its security. "Even
more significant is this smart cards' ability to manage
multiple applications with contactless technology that
ensures the highest long-term data integrity, especially
important for electronic purse requirements," said the
industry consultant.

Press contact: Laura Keane, Racom Systems, 800-789-7627;
Public contact: 800-789-7627.