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Smart Cards
 
Smart Cards - Smart cards look like credit cards.  These have a computer chip about the size of a fingernail implanted in the card. It can hold up to 100+ times more information than standard magnet strip cards.  Typically they have a microprocessor and a substantial amount of memory, say 1 Megabyte.
     The smart card's CPU typically is 8-bit.  The CPU's speed typically is slow, 3-5 MHz.  It has some RAM 128-258 bytes) and ROM for the operating system. (A higher-end operating system size is around 24 KB) and EEPROM (which acts like a hard drive in a PC and can be erased and re-written on.)  It can't interface with keyboards, monitors and other peripherals but it does have an I/O interface to communication with your set-top box which in turn communicates with the content provider.
    The card's built in miniature integrated circuit can hold information about you - a bank balance, a phone card, timer and even medical records. Passwords determine who has access to the card's information. Smart cards can modify the information they hold.  Connection to a bank is not necessary to use them.  Some Web TV, Satellite service providers, Cable service providers and others use them for security and monetary transaction purposes. Smart cards are also used to identify you as the subscriber and thus allow you access to a network.
    The subscriber inserts their smart card into the set-top boxes’ Smart Card Slot(s). (Typically the set-top box will have one or two slots. The Smart Card Slots are part of the Smart Card Reader.)  If there are two Smart Card Slots in the Smart Card Reader, typically one would be for electronic commerce transactions and the other for providing authorization and authentication for the subscriber to access the various services their provider offers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_cards


Some Related Definitions

CableCard

Smart Card Reader - Standard set-top boxes can contain two slots for 'reading' the cards.  One would be for electronic commerce functions and the other for providing authorization and authentication for the subscriber to access the various services their provider offers.

Smart Card Slots – (Smart Card Expansion Slots) - The opening(s) on a set-top box where the user can insert his/her smart card. Advanced slots can accept next generation Smart Cards without having to change the Smart Card hardware/software.

SmartCard Televisions – TVs with Smart Card functionality built into them. Often the TV also has other advanced functions.





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