A maker of semiconductors for the mobile industry has introduced a microcontroller for mobile payments.

Crocus Technology, based in Santa Clara, Calif. and Grenoble, France, said Monday it has developed CT32MLU, the first in a category of microcontrollers for smartphones and smartcards that can boost the security and speed of access controls, tag readers and other technologies that facilitate mobile transactions.

The microcontroller, which is based on Crocus' Magnetic Logic Unit smartcard design, reads and writes ten times faster than Flash memory and is among the first microcontrollers to meet the nano-SIM format, according to the company.

According to the company, CT32MLU will improve the performance of smartphones that tap Near Field Communication technology to interact with payment systems.

"CT32MLU breaks the barrier of traditional non-volatile memory that will provide smartcard makers with best-in-class secure element microcontrollers with a 20 to 30 percent smaller footprint," Alain Faburel, vice president of Crocus' security business unit, said in a news release. "The CT32MLU product family is the culmination of Crocus' long-term investment in Magnetic Logic Unit, a performance-driven technology that is gaining attention."

A development kit for the microcontroller, which will be available in both SIM and embedded form factors, is expected to be available in January, according to the company.