Germany-based Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) is a globally renowned leader in security technology. Its solutions and expertise are the gatekeeper behind authentication services that enable secure payment, provide trusted connectivity, safeguard identities, and protect digital infrastructures around the world. This includes the entire smart card and secure digital payments business in the banking sector as well as solutions for secure access and identity management in enterprise ecosystems. With their latest solution, the tiny StarSign® Key Fob, including Renesas' DA14683 G+D is setting new standards for security and convenience.

Key Fob Gate

A StarSign You Can Trust

One of its most recent solutions is the StarSign Key Fob. This tiny yet stylish crypto hardware token delivers easy and secure user verification and authentication for physical access, document signing, approvals, payments and more. With its integrated fingerprint sensor, it can quickly confirm transactions with a single touch – doing away with the need for passwords.

"Companies and their employees are looking for secure, convenient authentication solutions that eliminate the need for passwords and PINs, and can be used for various applications," says Dr. Ferdinand Buriánek, G+D’s Head of Public Sector, Transit and Enterprise Security business. "The StarSign Key Fob is designed to satisfy this need completely. It combines the highest security with a great user experience – all in a contactless way."

For maximum convenience, the key fob supports various connectivity options, including Bluetooth®, USB and NFC and is housed in a compact design that includes a rechargeable battery. When combined with the fob’s extensive security functionality, that brings a lot of complexity and requires a lot of processing power in a very small device.

StarSign Key Fob frontal isolated with fingerprint

Built on a High-performance Platform

"Renesas' processor chips are an essential part of the StarSign Key Fob that enable the efficient execution of the various functions. For a premium security product like the StarSign Key Fob, we needed a premium platform to build on. We looked at a lot of Bluetooth low energy products and Renesas' SmartBond™ family was the only one that fully met our needs," Buriánek explains.

The chip selected by G+D - the DA14683 - is a single-chip Bluetooth low energy 5 platform with expandable memory and built-in system power management with USB charging. Targeting smart home, industrial and wearable devices, it meets the highest security standards and offers industry-leading performance and power consumption from the smallest footprint.

In the StarSign Key Fob, the DA14683 acts as the central processing platform as well as the system power management unit. G+D then implemented its own firmware, which handles all USB and Bluetooth LE communications to the peripherals, the fingerprint sensor and the secure element module.

A Trusted Partnership

"The DA14683 enabled easy system integration and quick implementation of the firmware which runs very stably thanks to the processor’s high performance. The new secure boot feature, in particular, was a blessing for us. It saved us a lot of work and made the StarSign Key Fob very safe and robust," explains Alexander Summerer, Product Manager for the StarSign Key Fob at G+D.

"We have really enjoyed working with Renesas. Great products are only part of it. The support they offer is also fantastic, creating a partnership that we can rely on. Thanks to that, we have been able to develop and launch a very complex authentication product quickly," Burianek adds.