The chip’s main characteristics are denoted by its name DESFire – The “DES” in the name refers to the use of DES, 2K3DES, 3K3DES and AES hardware cryptographic engine for securing transmission data, while “ Fire” is an acronym for “Fast, Innovative, Reliable, and Enhanced” operation in contactless proximity applications.

The MIFARE DESFire family consists of MIFARE DESFire EV1 and MIFARE DESFire EV2 products and is ideally suited for solution developers and system operators building reliable, interoperable and scalable contactless smart card solutions. It targets multi-application smart card solutions in identity, access, loyalty and micro-payment applications as well as in transport schemes. MIFARE DESFire fully complies with the requirements for fast and highly secure data transmission, flexible memory organization and is interoperable with existing contactless infrastructures. 

The MIFARE DESFire platform is based on open global standards for both air interface and cryptographic methods. It is compliant to all four levels of ISO/IEC 14443A and uses optional ISO/IEC 7816-4 commands. MIFARE DESFire products are also fully NFC (Near Field Communication) tag type 4 compliant.

Featuring an on-chip backup management system and the mutual three pass authentication, a MIFARE DESFire EV1 based card can hold up to 28 different applications and 32 files per application. The size of each file is defined at the moment of its creation, making MIFARE DESFire a truly flexible and convenient product family. The DESFire EV2 can hold an unlimited number of different applications only limited by the respective family member´s memory size. New applications can be loaded after the card has been deployed into the market. A purse can even be shared between applications, for greater interoperability.

Additionally, an automatic anti-tear mechanism is available for all file types, which guarantees transaction oriented data integrity. With MIFARE DESFire, data transfer rates up to 848 Kbit/s can be achieved, making secure and fast data processing possible. The MIFARE DESFire platform offers enhanced consumer-friendly system design, in combination with security and reliability.

Key applications

  • Advanced public transportation
  • Access management
  • Closed-loop micropayment
  • Campus and student ID cards
  • Loyalty programs
  • Government social service cards