Given their long history and widespread use, HF (high-frequency)-based smartcards are supported by an exceptionally broad reader infrastructure. However, because they can only operate over short distances (under 10 cm), there are limits to how HF-based smartcards can be used. Although developers have created dual-frequency cards, with support for short-range HF as well as long-range Ultra High Frequency (UHF). However, certain shortcomings in the UHF technology, regarding security, privacy, and reliable performance in challenging environments, have proved to be limiting factors.
That is, until now. With the arrival of improved UHF, which supports cryptographic authentication for security and privacy protection, dual-frequency cards are ready to go mainstream, with a new set of compelling applications. This paper summarizes the new features of this UHF with cryptographic security, and looks at the potential for using it in dual-frequency formats to create smart, scalable deployments with backward compatibility.