Philips Electronics has established a Smart Transaction Center in the United States that houses a new business unit - Philips Smart Cards and Systems USA.

The unit is a division of New York-based Philips Electronics North America Corp.

The Dutch electronics conglomerate had previously operated a smart card development center in Europe.

Initially, the U.S. center will combine three businesses: smart cards, screen phones marketed through Philips Home Services, and related semiconductor units.

The Smart Transaction Center will offer a wide range of options, including electronic commerce systems, custom chip sets, cards, card readers, and back-end processing products, Philips said.

The company produced 15 million microprocessors in 1995 and qualified for the Visa Vendor Partnership Program.

In related news, Philips Semiconductors announced a new phone card- integrated circuit, designed for German Telecom, that maintains information in "sleep mode" for more than 10 years without a power source.

Philips said the PCF2033 IC, also called the Eurochip, provides larger nonvolatile memory than competing devices and improved security features. - Valerie Block

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