Philips Semiconductors said it has designated Testhouse Arsenal in Vienna as the official certification institute for the Mifare contactless card technology that is widely used in mass transit applications.

Philips early last year offered its Mifare specification as an open standard and will now rely on Testhouse to ensure compatibility among different manufacturers' Mifare products. The testing laboratory is part of the transport division of Arsenal Research, which is controlled by the Austrian government.

"The complexity of a contactless interface requires detailed certification to ensure real compatibility between different suppliers," said Alexander Harrer, Philips Semiconductors product line manager for chip-card integrated circuits. Arsenal Research is "the most capable" testing body, he added, because of "its focus on the transport market, technical competence, and independent status."

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