Smart Card

This tutorial will help you to identify your smart card and its connections

A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit card (ICC), is any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits which can process data. This implies that it can receive input which is processed — by way of the ICC applications — and delivered as an output. There are two broad categories of ICCs. Memory cards contain only non-volatile memory storage components, and perhaps some specific security logic. Microprocessor cards contain volatile memory and microprocessor components. The card is made of plastic, generally PVC, but sometimes ABS. The card may embed a hologram to avoid counterfeiting. Using smart cards is also a form of strong security authentication for single sign-on within large companies and organizations.

Described by ISO 7816 standard. Used in cellular phones, pay TVs, etc.

Pin Name Description
1 VCC +5 VDC power supply input (optional use by the card)
2 RESET Either used itself (reset signal supplied from the interface device) or in combination with an interal reset control circuit (optional use by the card). If internal reset is implemented, the voltage supply on Vcc is mandatory
3 CLOCK Clocking or timing signal (optional use by the card)
4 GND Ground (reference voltage)
5 Vpp Programing voltage input (optional). This contact may be used to supply the voltage required to program or to erase the internal non-volatile memory.
6 I/O Input or Output for serial data to the integrated circuit inside the card
7,8 N/C

Also as you can see I2C Smart card pinout

As you can see in the following image, there are a lot of smart cards and SIM cards pads shapes:

Smart card ZUANBAO socket shape - Bottom view (The same as PARALLAX Smart Card Reader (#32320))

Smart card socket pinout - Bottom view

Soon I'll upload Eagle PCB library and interface program



07 Jan 2011

I been working with smart cards I made the reader from a old dish network receiver.

Sure glade you posted this I had the pin out backward.

02 Feb 2011 . Edited: 03 Feb 2011


Sparkfun has breakout boards for Smart Cards and SIMs.

11 Feb 2011 . Edited: 11 Feb 2011


The interface looks like I2C, but it sounds like the timing is a bit strange. They even make a convertor IC:

TDA8003TS - I2C-bus SIM card interface - NXP Semiconductors

But perhaps it can be done in software only.

Does anyone have experience with this?


P.S. Just found at least one SIM card project and software that might be adapted for mbed

11 Feb 2011 . Edited: 11 Feb 2011

There some cards that have a pic 16f84a in them.And  most are SPI



11 Feb 2011 . Edited: 11 Feb 2011


I found the smart card code examples in BASIC they reference posted at

Seems like different code for each different Smart card type and also likely different for the SIM card - but now at least have code examples of each.


31 Oct 2012

I have been looking into using SmartCards for several personal projects and ran across this website: which has several different smartcards which are programmed in a flavor of Basic written with smartcard functionality built into the language.  Interesting reading...

17 Nov 2013

Helo, I am new to mbed and just poking around for something interesting to read for now. I think we are thinking of Smart card reader for the mbed platform. To work with smart cards (there is a world of options out there), just define your application requirements, go shop for a card to support. Maxim sell card reader IC, I also know some STM32 support direct reading via Port PINS.

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