SCR: Smart Card Reader Controller

Block Diagram

Solution Type: IP Core

End Market: Consumer, Military, Test & Measurement, Wireless

Evaluation Method: OpenCore, OpenCore Plus

Technology: Interface Protocols: Communications

Arria Series: Intel® Arria® 10, Arria® V, Intel® Arria® 10 SoC, Arria® V SoC

Cyclone Series: Cyclone® IV, Cyclone® V, Cyclone® V SoC

MAX Series: Intel® MAX® 10

Stratix Series: Stratix® IV, Stratix® V


The SCR core implements an interface and controller for communicating between smart cards and host systems using a variety of standard system interfaces. The SCR supports the ISO/IEC 7816-3:1997(E) and EMV2000 4.0 specifications, which define the electrical signals and transmission protocols for smart cards (also known as integrated circuit cards). It acts as a communication controller, passing data to and from the host system and the smart card. It is fully-featured, and can activate and deactivate cards, perform cold/warm resets, handle ATR response reception, and execute other essential functions. The SCR consists of the core smart card reader logic with a wrapper for the desired system interface. (AMBA APB and Wishbone interfaces are available; support for other bus interfaces is optional.)


  • Supports the ISO/IEC 7816-3:1997(E) and EMV’2000 4.0 specifications, and synchronous and any other non-ISO 7816 and non-EMV’96 or EMV2000 cards
  • Performs functions needed for complete sessions, including: Card activation and deactivation, cold/warm reset, ATR response reception, data transfers
  • Configurable timing functions: Smart card activation time, Guard time and Timeout timers
  • Supports automatic convention detection, automatic voltage class selection, automatic byte repetition and handles commonly used communication protocol
  • Features an extensive interrupt support system, adjustable clock rate and bit (baud) rate, and adjustable FIFOs for Receive and Transmit buffers

Device Utilization and Performance

The core synthesizes to about 750 LEs.

Getting Started

Contact CAST at to arrange for a core evaluation

IP Quality Metrics

Year IP was first released2005
Latest version of Quartus supported15.1
Altera Customer Use
IP has been successfully implemented in production with at least one customerY

Customer deliverables include the following:

  • Design file (encrypted source code or post-synthesis netlist)
  • Simulation model for ModelSim Altera edition
  • Timing and/or layout constraints
  • Testbench or design example
  • Documentation with revision control
  • Readme file
Parameterization GUI allowing end user to configure IPN
IP core is enabled for OpenCore Plus SupportY
Source language
Verilog; VHDL
Testbench languageVerilog; VHDL
Software drivers providedN
Driver OS supportN/A
User InterfaceAXI; Avalon-MM
IP-XACT Metadata includedN
Simulators supportedModelSim, Questa, NC-SIM
Hardware validated N. Altera Board Name DE0 Nano
Industry standard compliance testing performed
If No, is it planned?N
IP has undergone interoperability testing
Interoperability reports available  N

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