Consumers and banks alike are concerned with the seemingly endless number of breaches that have compromised millions of credit cards.  The unfortunate reality is, the magnetic stripe technology used on the majority of credit cards is static and unprotected, making it an easy target for thieves.

Through the use of our innovative SPOT technology (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology), we want to enable a new generation of smart cards to be developed.

Display Cards

Interactive payment cards with built-in display and touch-sensitive buttons for enhanced control and security.

Connected Payment cards

Cards that allow consumers to communicate to their phone for enhanced security, manageability, and convenience.

“Dynamic” or “Universal” cards

Cards that allow consumers to reprogram its magnetic stripe on the fly, and can potentially replace multiple cards with a single universal card.

Ambiq Micro’s ultra-low power Real-Time Clock (RTC) device is a key enabler for this new generation of smart cards.

Why? Because Ambiq-enabled smart cards can potentially last more than five years while running on a smaller (and less expensive) battery.

The Ambiq RTC plays two key roles in smart card operation:

  1. As a highly accurate clock source for one-time password (OTP) transactions
  2. As an overall system power manager

Cards using traditional RTC chips typically consume hundreds of nanoamps – even in sleep mode. This high power drain, coupled with a limited battery size, typically limits the card product life to three years or less.

Using Ambiq’s RTC solution not only cuts total power by more than 7X when compared to the closest industry competitor, it can also be used to turn off and manage the smart card’s battery-hungry microcontroller, display, and wireless transceiver.  While these external components are turned off, the Ambiq RTC plays a dual role of keeping accurate time and also monitoring the system for a power-up condition – all while consuming a very small amount of power.

The end result? Longer battery life, more functionality, and enhanced security.

Ultra Low-Power RTC