Encryption accelerator is gadget used in performing processor intensive activities that involves encrypting or decrypting information so that it can free the host CPU to continue with other task performance without slowing its speed (Niels and Bruce, 2003). In other words, cryptographic accelerator is seen as co-processor in network is referred to as web server that protects data sent via insecure network with SSL (Niels and Bruce, 2003, p.89). While physically cryptographic accelerator is fitted into a computer card slot like PCI like a form of add-on card.
Guthery and Timothy (1998) state that Smart cards are also called integrated circuit card (ICC) or clip card which denotes a packet-sized card that has integrated circuits. The broad categories of smart cards are memory cards and microprocessor cards. Whereby, memory cards only stores information, while microprocessor contains microprocessor components and volatile memory.
Smart cards can be able to provide authentication, identification provisions, data storage, and processing of applications (Guthery and Timothy, 1998, p.69). However, usefulness or complexity of smart card depends on the platform be programmed for. For example, smart card can be programmed for various banking applications: medical credentials club membership, transport benefits. Security of smart cards is vital and as a result, smart cards have proximity or multifactor authentication that increases security on all transactions made on the card (p.182).
Parts of a SmartCard and their related functions
|VCC||Power supply input|
|VPP (Programming voltage input)||input for a higher voltage to program persistent memory e.g. EEPROM|
|I/O||Serial input and output (half-duplex).|
|CLK||Provides the card with a clock signal, from which data communications timing is derived.
|RST (Reset signal,)||used to reset the card’s communications|
|C4, C8||used for USB interfaces and other uses|
|GND||Ground (reference voltage).|
Source: Guthery & Timothy (1998), p.104
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