Tiempo: Revolutionizing Secure Contactless Payments

A French company founded in 2007, Tiempo is known for its offerings in the form of asynchronous and delay insensitive integrated circuits. The circuits, being totally self-controlled, display a technical behavior not depending on knowledge of timing, thus providing functional correctness. This leads to circuits designed with ultra-low power and simultaneous high performance capabilities in form of secures clockless chips.

With respect to payment technology, Tiempo offers an effective platform for secure transactions named TESIC. The platform facilitates design of ICs for smartcards used for passports or banking and also designing circuits aiding secure NFC or DRM related payments. The clockless chip design is leveraged for used against hardware attacks and simultaneously provide exceptional performance in variable power environment.

Tiempo also provides an array of cryptoprocessors capable of clockless implementation. Such processors find use by embedding in high-level security applications such as RFID, contactless cards, etc. Other applications targeted could be sensor networks, systems embedding NFC, etc.

The clockless implementation in root of Tiempo’s offerings provides best performance for applications demanding faster transaction requirements in contact-less approach.

Focus on Payment Sector:

In November 2013, Tiempo paved the way for its dedicated business unit named Tiempo Secure. This business unit specializes in developing and qualifying high end products to aid critical applications requiring total robustness in a highly secure environment. Such products include the dual interface secure chips which are flash-based and help in high value applications such as open loop transit fare, dual-interface banking and e-government documentations.

In April 2013, Tiempo initiated the collaborative project ASMART involving several value added partners in order to develop an innovative smartcard chip prototype. The project led to creation of a chip combined with Tiempo’sclockless platform, CEA-Leti contactless interface, Invia security sensors and an embedded operating system by Gemalto, a global digital security player. The project was co-funded by the FondsEuropéen de DéveloppementRégional (FEDER)and theFonds Unique Interministériel (FUI) and has been co-labeled by the two regional Excellence Clusters SCSand Minalogic. The project helped fulfill the growth of contactless payment, ID and transit markets and also provide fast and secure transactions even in low or variable magnetic field intensity.

In June 2012, Tiempo announced the use of silicon validation for its secured transaction platform called TESIC. The successfully designed circuit was created using Tiempo’s own unique ACC synthesis tool. The TESIC is a complete secure platform used for designing ICs to be implemented in smartcard chips for ticketing, banking, ePassports, NFC elements, etc. It uses unique performance/power auto-scaling and tamper-resistant asynchronous technology for demanding embedded security applications.

In April 2012, Tiempo entered into an agreement with Alcinéo, a secure payment solution specialist, to develop smartcard application on Tiempo’s prototype platform. This agreement helped Alcinéo confirm its expertise in embedded field by leveraging Tiempo’s TESIC platform. This led to Alcinéo’sPayPass application made compatible with any targeted hardware platform or operating system.