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Soliatis Launches E-passport Testing Software

The smart-card systems provider designed its new products to facilitate the development of ICAO-compliant electronic passports and related applications.
By Jonathan Collins
Jun 22, 2006French-based contact and contactless smart-card systems specialist Soliatis has launched two new products aimed at testing and developing chips and applications for electronic passports (e-passports). The products conform to two finalized parts of the RF Protocol and Application Test Standard, specifications for e-passport conformity testing issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

ICAO is an agency of the United Nations that sets civil-aviation standards applied by the international community. Its e-passport standards work has the goal of establishing an "e-Passport Conformity Certificate," which can be issued to e-passport equipment and applications, and which will be accepted by governmental certification bodies. ICAO is working in partnership with other standards organizations, including the ISO, to create e-passport specifications incorporating standards from those organizations.

Michael Leplatois, Soliatis GM
Soliatis believes its new compliance-testing products will help speed the development of ICAO-compliant e-passport products. "The test suite will drive the readers to test the hardware, interpret the results and create a report," says Michael Leplatois, general manager at Soliatis, based in Salon de Provence.

The firm's first new product, the Digital test suite, is designed to enable chip manufacturers and standards bodies to test chip designs against ISO 14443 (A and B). The suite's test scripts comply with those agreed upon on Apr. 9, 2006, in Part 6 of ISO/IEC 10373-6:2001/FDAM1. The test suite is also compatible with Part 2 of ICAO's RF Protocol and Application Test Standard for E-Passport, as agreed to on Feb. 10. The test deals with Layer 3 Timing and framing tests, as well as ISO Layer 3 and 4 protocol tests.

Presently, the ICAO is still working on its e-passport standards. As such, Soliatis says it must be clear about its products' adherence to the evolving specifications. "When a new test specification is published, we implement the modifications within one or two weeks," says Leplatois. "This is part of the warranty contract we have with our customers, and that is the reason why we always specify the date of the test specification implemented."

The Digital testing software is designed to be implemented with specialized test readers from either Smartware, of Anthony, France, or Raisonance SAS, based in Montbonnot Saint-Martin.

The second new product from Soliatis, the application test suite, targets e-passport application vendors working to validate their products. This tool can be used with almost any available reader, as long as it has a PC/SC interface (a commonly built-in input/output device). The software comprises test scripts able to generate reports on e-passport applications automatically.

In addition, customers receive the Soliatis Scriptis Editor development platform, to enable modification to the tests; the Soliatis Scriptis Manager, an interface for executing the test scripts; and the suite's source code.
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