US ePassports to contain IC chips from Infineon
Infineon Technologies announced that it received a multi-million piece purchase order from the United States government to supply its highly-secure integrated circuit technology for the new electronic passport. The US Government estimates that up to 15 million new passports will be issued in the first full year of the electronic passport roll-out – which currently represents the single biggest electronic passport project worldwide. Designed to facilitate international travel by allowing automatic identity verification, faster immigration inspections and greater border protection and security, the new passports include a computer chip in the back cover that securely stores the same information that is printed on the document. The US began issuing electronic passports to diplomats and other government workers in late 2005, and is now expanding the program to include the widely issued tourist passport used by private citizens. By the end of this year, the government expects that all new US passports will be issued as electronic passports.