The typical proximity card consists of a microchip and antenna embedded in a plastic card. When the card is placed within the radio field of the reader, the energy broadcasted from the reader energizes the microchip on the card and begins a transaction between the card and reader. When the reader recognizes the card, the card is queried for the identification number.
The difference between the two types of smart cards is found in the manner with which the microprocessor on the card communicates with the outside world. A contact smart card has eight contacts, which must physically touch contacts on the reader to convey information between them. A contactless smart card uses the same radio-based technology as the proximity card with the exception of the frequency band used. Smart cards allow the access control system to save user information on a credential carried by the user rather than requiring more memory on each controller.
There are two types of smart cards: contact and contactless. Both have an embedded microprocessor and memory. The smart card differs from the card typically called a proximity card in that the microchip in the proximity card has only one function: to provide the reader with the cardís identification number. The processor on the smart card has an operating system and can handle multiple applications such as a cash card, a pre-paid membership card, and even an access control card.
A proximity card can be passive or active. An active card has a battery to power the microchip and is usually thicker than the standard ISO plastic card. A passive card depends solely on the radio field of the reader for power giving it less range but longer useful life. Proximity readers have been steadily gaining in popularity because of the ease of use, lack of wear, and high tech image. The cards are very difficult to duplicate because of the need for the microchip, knowledge of radio technology, and the software needed to implement the protocol. The minor problems associated with this technology are occasional problems with RF interference and the fact that it may be easier to follow someone with valid access through a door because the read range may make it more difficult for a guard to verify that a person has or has not presented a card.
Memory Card Reader
A memory card reader is a device, typically having a USB interface, for accessing the data on a memory card such as a CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCard (MMC).
Some printers and computers have inbuilt card readers. A multi card reader is used with a USB interface to connect with a USB capable computer for enabling the users to access informationstored in the memory card.
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PROXIMITY 125KHz readers are high performance proximity readers featuring long range and small dimensions. The readers run from any voltage from 5 to 12.5 VDC and feature high read range at as low as 5 volts making it ideally suited to a wide variety of applications, particularly access control.