technology & support

Customer Support

InSilio offers support and maintenance contracts adapted to its customers' needs and to the infrastructures that are developed. It proposes as well a complete set of online services (diagnostic, software updates ../download, user's guides, various documentation).


The purpose of the paragraphs below is to familiarize our customers with the technologies used by InSilio and in particular with contactless smart cards.

The contactless smart card

As contactless smart cards arrive on the market, two worlds are now getting united: the one of the standard contact smart card and the one of identification by radio frequency (RFID - Radio Frequency Identification).

A "contactless" system, that is to say a "reader + contactless smart card" bundle, consists in transmitting data without any physical contact between the reader and the card, transmission distances being able to go until several meters.

When RFID technology is used for identification cards, the ISO standard makes the distinction between:

  • proximity: from 0 to 10 cm
  • vicinity: from 10 to 70 cm.

ISO standard defines:

  • radio frequencies (range is conditioned by frequency),
  • the phase of initialization of the chip (writing)
  • methods of dialogue used between the reader and the RFID tag,
  • anti-collision system which aims at avoiding errors when several cards are read at the same time.

It also defines three categories according to the technology used:

  • inductive systems, operating in low or intermediate frequency, up to 10 MHz. Most of contactless smart cards are of this type today
  • radio frequency systems, from ten to a few hundreds megahertz; these systems are not very widespread.
  • hyper frequency systems.

The contactless smart card being intended for general public use, the objective is to carry out a product at very low cost. For this purpose, the inductive technology represents a major interest compared to the others (radio or hyper frequency) as far as the implementation of these systems is concerned.

The inductive technology is the one currently used and proposed by InSilio within the framework of the general ISO standards 14443 (A & B) and 18000-3.

Active and passive cards

Smart cards have reached a very broad distribution. They passed from the simple memory card to a genuine and complex security tool.

There are today two types of contactless systems:

  • active cards (i.e. including a battery)
  • passive cards (i.e. being remotely powered by the reader).

InSilio uses mainly the passive technology where the terminal (or reader) brings energy to the card and communicates with it remotely. This transfer of energy is generally carried out in the inductive way and is transferred using a magnetic field, generated by the reader and detected by the card. The emission and the reception of this magnetic field are possible thanks to antennas embedded in the reader and in the card. The card, which is then activated, can generate energy and the power it needs for its internal circuits. No battery is thus necessary inside the card.

The reader and the card have both a modulator able to influence or modify this magnetic field. The advantage of the method is to allow an operation through the majority of non-metal materials like plastic, paper, wood, clothing, glass, etc. The operating range of the reader depends mainly on the system used, on its insensitivity to the interferences, but also on other factors such as the size and the type of the antenna embedded in the reader. The transaction is intentional as it must be made near the reader's antenna.

The cards used by InSilio are mainly those of the Mifare range from PHILIPS and are multi-applicative proximity smart cards. They were designed to carry out fast and secure transactions in the fields of transport, access control, or for any other application needing and using electronic purses (e-purse) or data files. They improve ergonomics and the speed of the transactions while preserving the characteristics of the existing smart cards: reliability, protection against the fraud and an excellent price performance ratio.

These cards feature a memory structured in several independent sectors and thus enable applications issuers to manage, individually for each application, the allocated memory and its conditions of access.

Lastly, InSilio's smart card offer includes different type of packaging to stick to every request of the market. (for example personalizable and water-proof key-ring or wristwatch formats perfectly adapted to the marinas and harbours environments).

The card reader

The product offer of InSilio includes:

  • physical and logical access control systems (buildings, car-park, careening area, computer security, internet access...)
  • showers system,
  • service pedestals automation for electricity and water metering

All these systems can operate in an autonomous way or in network monitored from a technical or a management office.

In the case of an autonomous operating mode, it is the reader alone that, after having been programmed with a card or a PDA, authorizes the physical accesses and access to the resources. The decision is taken locally.

In network mode the identifier (ID) read on the smart card goes up to the control room for validation of the authorizations. Network communication can be wired using a specialized line or through a dedicated infrastructure.


A central monitoring station consists of a PC with its cards encoder and its various software running under Windows®.

In the autonomous operating mode, the decision is taken locally by the reader. The software makes it possible to personalize the cards, to program the stand-alone readers, to manage users data and to configure the following applications:

  • site access control,
  • users e-purses management,
  • starting up of temporized electrical appliances,
  • overall system users management (users rights and profiles),
  • personalization and programming of the equipment.

In the network mode, the management software is made of several modules. More particularly:

  • 1 module for readers parameters, groups and users data programming
  • 1 module for real-time network supervision and teleprocessing of alarms and access events.

This software under Windows allows to:

  • define access authorizations for each card,
  • recover all information coming from the various readers and to take the decision of activating the relays or not according to the authorizations defined for the keys,
  • file all information coming from the network (passage of key and change in the state of the entries),
  • insure continuous operations in degraded mode (in case of network failure for example),
  • define access control overall strategy

more +

InSilio - ZI Toulon Est, BP 525 - 130, rue Marcellin Berthelot - 83078 TOULON Cedex 9 - France
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