A smart card is basically a plastic card that has a microprocessor and a memory fixed in it. If you wish to get these cards then they are easily available in different sizes and types. They are available in the size as big as a credit card or even as small as a SIM card. There are some cards that have non-programmable memory in them and these cards are available in read only format and the information that are found in these cards cannot be changed or it cannot be influenced. The cards that have a microprocessor attached in them have different functions.
Now let’s go through the classification of smart cards on the basis of their functions and mechanism-
The classification of smart cards based on their functions
Microprocessor Smart Cards: These cards have great capability of storing the memory compared to those cards that do not have a microprocessor. The security of the data that is found in these cards is quiet greater than any other form of storage device. This is due to the fact that they have microprocessor implanted in the plastic card along with the memory.
Microprocessor Smart Cards are easily available in the market today. They have an eight bit processor and 512 bytes of random access memory and 16 KB of read only memory. These cards use the method of cryptography to secure the digital uniqueness of the cards. They have a card operating system that efficiently manages the entire data on the card. The card operating system that is found in the cards makes it multi-functional.
Memory Based Cards: These cards are used for those applications where the function of the card can be fixed. They require a card reader to operate the data on the card. These cards give messages to the reader by using some protocols. Memory based cards do not have the ability to manage the data that is stored in them. They are widely used as prepaid phone cards.
The classification of cards based on their mechanism
Contact Cards: They are named in such a manner because they come in contact with the reader. They are found in the size of a credit card and the metallic chip that is fixed inside the plastic card has a microprocessor and memory. They are used in network security, access control, e-commerce, electronic cash and health cards.