Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SMART CARD AND METHOD OF FORMING A SMART CARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/205195
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides in some aspects a smart card (10) and a method of forming a smart card (10). In illustrative embodiments herein, the smart card (10) has an entirety (3) of electric and electronic components which are all provided with an insert module (1). The insert module (1) having the entirety (3) of electric and electronic components of the smart card (10), is accommodated into a recess provided in a card body (7) of the smart card (10).

Inventors:
DE GUILLEBON, Nicolas (FR)
YEAP, Yean Wei (SG)
EYMARD, Eric (FR)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/000517
Publication Date:
October 14, 2021
Filing Date:
June 03, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LINXENS HOLDING (FR)
International Classes:
G06K19/07; G06K19/073; G06K19/077
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEUBECK, Wolfgang (FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A method of forming a smart card (10, 30) having an entirety (3, 36) of electric and electronic components, the method comprising: preparing an insert module (1, 35), the insert module (1, 35) comprising the entirety (3, 36) of electric and electronic components of the smart card (10, 30); preparing a card body (7, 31), the card body (7, 31) having a recess (9, 33) for accommodating the insert module (1 , 35) and for allowing the insert module (1 , 35) to be inserted into the recess (9, 33).

2. The method of claim 1 , further comprising inserting and sealing the insert module (1 , 35) into the recess (9, 33), wherein the insert module (1 , 35) is only sealed on at least a portion of its edge (5, 35e) and/or the insert module (1 , 35) is attached on at least a portion of a backside of the insert module (1 , 35).

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the sealing of the insert module (1 , 35) into the recess (9, 33) comprises a thermally joining of the insert module (1 , 35) and the card body (7, 31) at least partially along at least the portion of the edge (5, 35e) of the insert module (1 , 35).

4. The method of claim 1 , further comprising inserting and sealing the insert module (1 , 35) into the recess (9, 33), wherein the insert module (1 , 35) is sealed on at least a portion of its back side.

5. The method of one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the preparing of the card body (7, 31) comprises performing a PVC lamination process for forming a prefinished card body and forming the recess (9, 33) in the prefinished card body, the recess (9, 33) having a geometry and size that allows a snugly fitting of the insert module (1 , 35) in the recess (9, 33).

6. The method of one of claims 1 to 5, further comprising visually personalizing the card body (7, 31), the visually personalizing the card body (7, 31) comprising forming at least one of a hologram, one or more names, and numbers on the card body (7, 31) by performing at least one of printing, laminating, gluing, punching, embossing, stamping, milling, cutting, and shaping.

7. The method of one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the entirety (3, 36) of electric and electronic components comprises at least one of an antenna, a fingerprint sensor, a dynamic CVV, a smart card module, a battery, and a display.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the insert module comprises the antenna, a chip, and a substrate, wherein the antenna and the chip are both provided on the substrate.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the antenna has a size given by a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm.

10. The method of one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the insert module has a dimension parallel to a direction of a maximum dimension of the card body, the dimension of the insert module being greater than 14.25 mm or greater than 19 mm or greater than 23.5 mm.

11. The method of one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the card body is formed by a single layer.

12. The method of one of claims 1 to 11 , wherein the card body is formed of at least one of a thermoplastic material, a thermosetting material, a natural material and/or an organic materials, one or more metallic materials and alloys, a composite material, and a ceramic material.

13. The method of one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the insert module has a rectangular shape with a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm.

14. The method of one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the recess has a rectangular shape having a maximum dimension oriented in parallel to a maximum dimension of the card body, wherein the maximum dimension extends towards a geometric centre of the card body.

15. The method of one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the insert module (1, 35) comprises the smart card module and wherein the method further comprises electronically personalizing the smart card module.

16. The method of one of claims 1 to 15, wherein the insert module (1 , 35) has a thickness of at most 900 pm, e.g., in the range from about 0.4 mm to about 0.84 mm.

17. A smart card (10, 30), comprising: a card body (7, 31); an insert module (1 , 35); and an entirety (3, 36) of electric and electronic components; wherein the entirety (3, 36) of electric and electronic components is formed in the insert module (1 , 35), and wherein the insert module (1, 35) is sealed into a recess (9, 33) accommodating the insert module (1 , 35).

18. The smart card (10, 30) of claim 17, wherein the insert module (1, 35) is sealed into the recess (9, 33) only along its edge (5, 35e).

19. The smart card (10, 30) of claim 17 or 18, wherein the insert module (1 , 35) is sealed on at least a portion of its back side.

20. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 19, wherein the card body (7, 31 ) only has a visual personalization formed therein, the visual personalization comprising at least one of a hologram, one or more names, and numbers.

21. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 20, wherein the insert module (1 , 35) has a thickness of at most 900 pm, e.g., in the range from about 0.4 mm to about 0.84 mm.

22. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 21, wherein the insert module (1, 35) is snugly fit in the recess (9, 33) and sealed in the recess (9, 33) so as to realize a smooth surface of the smart card (10, 30) along the edge (5, 35e) of the insert module (1 , 35).

23. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 22, wherein the insert module has a rectangular shape with a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm.

24. The smart card (10, 30) one of claims 17 to 23, wherein the recess has a rectangular shape having a maximum dimension oriented in parallel to a maximum dimension of the card body, wherein the maximum dimension extends towards a geometric center of the card body.

25. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 24, wherein the entirety (3, 36) of electric and electronic components comprises at least one of an antenna, a fingerprint sensor, a dynamic CVV, a smart card module, a battery, and a display.

26. The smart card (10, 30) of claim 25, wherein the insert module comprises the antenna, a chip, and a substrate, wherein the antenna and the chip are both provided on the substrate.

27. The smart card (10, 30) of claim 26, wherein the antenna has a size given by 12.5 mm x

11.3 mm or 12.5 mm x 17.9 mm or 12.5 mm x 22.64 mm or 26.7 mm x 11.3 mm or 26.7 mm x 17.90 mm or 26.7 mm x 22.64 mm.

28. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 27, wherein the card body is formed by a single layer.

29. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 28, wherein the insert module has a dimension parallel to a direction of a maximum dimension of the card body which is greater than 14.25 mm or greater than 19 mm or greater than 23.5 mm.

30. The smart card (10, 30) of one of claim 17 to claim 29, wherein the card body is formed of at least one of a thermoplastic material, a thermosetting material, a natural material and/or an organic materials, one or more metallic materials and alloys, a composite material, and a ceramic material.

31 . The smart card (10, 30) of one of claims 17 to 29, wherein each of the card body (7, 31 ) and the insert module (1 , 35) is formed of PVC.

Description:
Smart Card and Method of forming a Smart Card

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a method of forming a smart card and, to a smart card.

Background

In general, a smart card or integrated circuit card (ICC) is a physical electronic authorization device, which is used to control access to a resource, for example. It is typically a plastic card, the size of a credit card, with an embedded integrated circuit (1C) chip. Smart cards can provide personal identification, authentication, data storage, and application processing. Dimensions of smart cards are similar to those of a credit card and the size of smart cards is defined in ISO/I EC standards.

In general, applications include identification, financial, mobile phones (SIM), public transit, computer security, schools and healthcare. Smart cards may provide strong security authentication for single sign on (SSO) within organizations. Typically, smart cards are made of plastic, generally polyvinyl chloride, sometimes, polyethylene-terephthalate-based polyesters, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or polycarbonate, and include MOS integrated circuit chips, along with MOS memory technologies, such as flash memory and EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory).

In many applications, smart cards contain a tamper resistant security system (for example, a secure crypto processor and a secure file system) and provide security services, such as protected in-memory information. Herein, the expression “tamper resistant” relates to “tamper proofing” which is conceptually a methodology used to hinder, deter or detect unauthorized access to a device or circumvention of a security system.

Smart cards communicate with external services through card reading devices, such as ticket readers, ATMs, dip reader and the like. In general, smart cards include a pattern of metal contacts for electrical connection to an internal chip or are contactless or even both. Contactless smart cards do not require physical contact between a card and a reader. Typical uses include mass transit and motorway tolls, among others, such as credit cards.

Contact smart cards have a contact area of approximately 1cm 2 , comprising several gold plated contact pads. These pads provide electrical connectivity when inserted into a reader, which is used as a communications medium between the smart card and a host, such as a computer, a point-of-sale terminal or the like, or a mobile telephone. Contact smart cards do not contain batteries and the power is supplied by the card reader.

The communication of contactless smart cards usually occurs by a reader device through RF induction technology at a data rate of 106 to 848kbps, together with a powering of the smart card. These cards require only proximity to an antenna to communicate. Like smart cards with contacts, contactless cards do not have an internal power source and instead they use an inductor to capture some of the incident radio frequency interrogation signal, rectify it, and use it to power the cards electronics. Contactless smart cards are made with PVC, paper/card and PET finish to meet different performance, costs and durability requirements.

In many applications, smart cards are typically provided with personal data. Such a personalization involves high pressure and high temperature lamination processes that are not compatible to standard chip modules and other modules included into a smart card, such as fingerprint modules or dynamic CVV to be inserted and connected after printing.

A conventional smart card is shown in Fig. 1a, where Fig. 1b represents a cross-sectional view along the line b-b in Fig. 1a. The smart card in Fig. 1 has a laminated card body cb and contact area ca. The laminated body cb is formed by five layers 01 , 02, L1 , L2, and L3. The layers L2 to L4 are covered by the layer 01 on the upper side and the layer 02 on the lower side, thereby forming the layer stack 01 , L1 , L2, L3, and 02. The layers 01 and 02 act as covering overlays to the layers L1 , L2, and L3.

Referring to the cross-sectional view in Fig. 1b, the contact area ca is accommodated in the upper layer 01 , while an antenna A is formed in the layer L2 by a planar coil extending in the layer L2. A contacting to the antenna A via the contact area ca is achieved via vertical interconnection elements V1 , V2 extending vertically from the contact area ca in the upper layer 01 to the antenna A in layer L2.

Typically, the antenna A is embedded into layer L2 prior to laminating the contact area ca into the upper layer 01 , wherein the antenna A and the contact area ca are provided on two different substrates, therefore the antenna A and the contact area ca representing two separate entities of the smart card. As each of the layers 01 , L1 , L2, L3, and 02 has a thickness in the range from 0.12 mm to 0.3 mm, the card body cb of conventional smart cards has a minimum thickness which cannot be further reduced. Furthermore, the fabrication of smart cards such as the embedding of the antenna into the layer L2 and the integration of the contact area into the layer 01 , as well as the lamination of the layer stack into a single card body cb limits the kind of material to be used for the layers to a PVC material. In the currently fast developing market, contactless payment becomes a convenient possibility for which allows to complete any payment process in an easy and direct way without directly touching money bills and coins or even without necessarily removing a payment card from a wallet. According to EMV standards, a short distance from 1 to 2 cm is demanded, whereas an antenna corresponding to antenna A in Fig. 1a and 1b exceeds a communication distance of 4 cm.

It is an object to provide a method of forming a smart card and a smart card which overcomes the issues and problems of the prior art.

Summary

The above problem and the above object are solved in a first aspect by a method of forming a smart card having an entirety of electric and electronic components. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the method comprises preparing an insert module, the insert module comprising the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card, preparing a card body, the card body having a recess for accommodating the insert module and for allowing the insert module to be inserted into the recess.

As the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card is provided in the insert module, the card body may be prepared separately from the insert module. Accordingly, personalization processes applied to a smart card may be performed without affecting the insert module. For example, the insert module may be prepared and/or inserted into the card body without being affected by the personalization processes when applying the personalization processes at a position on the card body with sufficient spacing to the insert module and/or prior to accommodating the insert module in the recess of the card body. Furthermore, the insert module may be removed and/or replaced for personalization processes such that the insert module is not affected by any personalization process. Another advantage resulting from the insert module comprising the entirety of electric and electronic components is that the complexity of current fabrication of smart cards is reduced because the implementation of electronic and electric functions of the smart card is provided when preparing the insert module without, whereas in the conventional fabrication of smart cards, the fabrication of the card body including an antenna device, for example, and the fabrication of a card inlay are performed at two different factories.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the method may further comprise inserting and sealing the insert module into the recess, wherein the insert module is only sealed on at least a portion of its edge and/or the insert module may be attached on at least a portion of a backside of the insert module. Accordingly, the sealing of the insert module may allow to fix the insert module at the card body without affecting the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the sealing of the insert module into the recess may comprise a thermal joining of the insert module and the card body at least partially along an edge portion of the insert module. Accordingly, the sealing may be confined to a small region along the edge portion of the insert module without affecting the entirety of electric and electronic components of smart card. Additionally or alternatively, the insert module may be attached on at least a portion of a backside of the insert module, wherein the backside of the insert module is understood as representing a side of the insert module which is brought into mechanical contact with a bottom surface of the recess. In accordance with some illustrative examples, a permanent attachment of the insert module maybe easily achieved.

In accordance with some alternative illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the method may further comprise inserting and sealing the insert module in to the recess wherein the insert module is sealed on at least a portion of its backside, instead of sealing the insert module on at least a portion of its edge. Accordingly, an advantageous sealing of the insert module into the recess without involving thermal processes may be achieved.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the preparing of the card body may comprise performing a PVC lamination process for forming a prefinished card body and forming a recess in the prefinished card body, the recess having a geometry and size that allows a snugly fitting of the insert module in the recess. Accordingly, the PVC lamination process is performed without affecting the insert module.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure, the method may further comprise visually personalizing the card body, the visually personalizing the card body comprising forming at least one of a hologram, one or more names, and numbers on the card body by performing at least one of printing, laminating, gluing, punching, embossing, stamping, milling, cutting and shaping. Accordingly, the visual personalization is decoupled from the step of preparing the insert module such the visual personalization of the card body does not affect the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the entirety of electric and electronic components may comprise at least one of an antenna, a finger print sensor, a dynamic CW, a smart card module, a battery, and a display. Accordingly, the entirety of electric and electronic components allows to provide a smart card with advanced electric and electronic components, wherein the entirety of electric and electronic components is not affected in their operation due to deteriorating effects imposed during the preparation and personalization of the card body. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the insert module may comprise the smart card module and the method may further comprise electronically personalizing the smart card module. Accordingly, the smart card module may be protected from being negatively affected by the preparation of the card body and the electronic personalization of the smart card module may be decoupled from the preparation of the card body.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the insert module may have a thickness of at most 900 pm, e.g., in the range from about 0.4 mm to about 0.84 mm. Accordingly, thin smart cards maybe provided.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the insert module may comprise the antenna, a chip, and a substrate, wherein the antenna and the chip are both provided on the substrate. Accordingly, the antenna and the chip may be provided as a single entity and a complexity of the fabrication process may be reduced. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the antenna may have a size given by a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm, such as without limitation from about 10.00 mm to about 15 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm. In accordance with some special but not limiting examples herein, the size may be given by 12.5 mm x 11 .3 mm or 12.5 mm x 17.9 mm or 12.5 mm x 22.64 mm or 26.7 mm x 11 .3 mm or 26.7 mm x 17.90 mm or 26.7 mm x 22.64 mm. An accordingly provided antenna has an advantageous communication distance.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the card body may be formed of at least one of a thermoplastic material, a thermosetting material, a natural material and/or an organic materials, one or more metallic materials and alloys, a composite material, and a ceramic material. As the insert module includes the entirety of electric and electronic components, the material of the card body is not limited to a material which complies with the integration of an antenna into the card body, for example. In general, any material that may form a bond with the insert module, may be used for the card body.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the card body may be formed by a single layer. Accordingly, a smart card may be fabricated, wherein a thickness of the card body of the smart card is not limited by a lamination structure of the card body.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the insert module may have a dimension parallel to a direction of a maximum dimension of the card body which is greater than 14.25 mm or greater than 19 mm or greater than 23.5 mm. Accordingly dimensioned insert modules may easily include the entirety of electric and electronic components. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the insert module may have a rectangular shape with a size of about 25 mm x 15 mm. An accordingly dimensioned insert module may be compatible with current sim card technology.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the first aspect, the recess may have a rectangular shape having a maximum dimension oriented in parallel to a maximum dimension of the card body, wherein the maximum dimension extends towards a geometric center of the card body. Accordingly, an advantageous contactless communication with the insert module may be achieved.

Furthermore, the above problem and the above object are solved in a second aspect by a smart card. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments herein, the smart card may comprise a card body, an insert module, and an entirety of electric and electronic components, the entirety of electric and electronic components being formed in the insert module, wherein the insert module maybe sealed into a recess accommodating the insert module. Accordingly, the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card is provided in the insert module and it is excluded that the operation of any electric and/or electronic component of the smart card is deteriorated due to a personalization process. Furthermore, the insert module may be realized in a manner such that it can be removed and/or replaced by another insert module.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module is sealed into the recess only along its edge. Accordingly, a sealing is confined to an edge portion of the insert module such that negative effects caused by the sealing is limited to the portion of the insert module along its edge without affecting a mechanical and/or electronic functionality of the smart card.

In accordance with some alternative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module maybe sealed on at least a portion of its backside instead of being sealed along a portion of its edge. Accordingly, a replaceable insert module maybe provided in case the sealing is releasable.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the card body may only have a visual personalization formed therein, the visual personalization comprising at least one of a hologram, one or more names, and numbers. Accordingly, visual personalization is confined to the card body without affecting the entirety of electric and electronic components.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the entirety of electric and electronic components may comprise at least one of an antenna, a fingerprint sensor, a dynamic CVV, a smart card module, a battery and a display. Accordingly, the entirety of electric and electronic components allows to provide a smart card with advanced electric and electronic components, wherein the entirety of electric and electronic components is not affected in their operation due to deteriorating effects imposed during the preparation and personalization of the card body. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the insert module may comprise the smart card module and the smart card module may be electronically personalized. For example, the smart card module may comprise a memory for saving personalization data and/or an encryption module allowing to encrypt and decrypt data received by the smart card module.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module may have a thickness of at most 900 pm, e.g., in the range from about 0.4 mm to about 0.84 mm. Accordingly, thin smart cards maybe provided.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, each of the card body and insert module may be formed of PVC. Accordingly, the smart card may be provided by a mechanically stable material.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module may fit snugly in the recess and maybe sealed in the recesses to realize a smooth surface of the smart card along the edge of the insert module. Accordingly, the insert module may be protected by the card body against an unintended removal or damage.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module may comprise the antenna, a chip, and a substrate, wherein the antenna and the chip are both provided on the substrate. Accordingly, the antenna and the chip may be provided as a single entity and a complexity of the fabrication process may be reduced. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the antenna may have a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm, such as without limitation from about 10.00 mm to about 15 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm. In accordance with some special illustrative examples herein, the size may be given by 12.5 mm x 11 .3 mm or 12.5 mm x 17.9 mm or 12.5 mm x 22.64 mm or 26.7 mm x 11 .3 mm or 26.7 mm x 17.90 mm or 26.7 mm x 22.64 mm. An accordingly provided antenna has an advantageous communication distance. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the chip may comprise circuitry including one or more capacitive components such that the antenna and the chip may provide a resonant circuitry for implementing a passive device.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the card body may be formed of at least one of a thermoplastic material (a plastic polymer material that becomes pliable or moldable at a certain elevated temperature and solidifies upon cooling, such as Polyolefin, polyester, vinylic, styrenic, polycarbonate, polyamide, acrylate and other material), a thermosetting material (a material that is irreversibly hardened by curing from a soft solid or viscous liquid material, such as epoxy, Polyurethane, ceramic, ...), a natural material and/or an organic materials, such as wood or a wood based material, hard wood, bamboo, cork, corn, .... one or more metallic materials and alloys, a composite material (e.g. stone paper, reinforced epoxy resin, crystal and polycrystal and the like) and a ceramic material. As the insert module includes the entirety of electric and electronic components, the material of the card body is not limited to a material which complies with the integration of an antenna into the card body, for example. In general, any material that may form a bond with the insert module, may be used for the card body.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the card body may be formed by a single layer. Accordingly, a smart card may be fabricated, wherein a thickness of the card body of the smart card is not limited by a lamination structure of the card body.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module may have a dimension parallel to a direction of a maximum dimension of the card body which is greater than 14.25 mm or greater than 19 mm or greater than 23.5 mm. Accordingly dimensioned insert modules may easily include the entirety of electric and electronic components.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the insert module may have a rectangular shape with a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm. For example, the size of the insert module may be of about 25 mm x 27 mm or smaller, such as 25 mm x 15 mm or smaller. An accordingly dimensioned insert module may be compatible with current sim card technology.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the second aspect, the recess may have a rectangular shape having a maximum dimension oriented in parallel to a maximum dimension of the card body, wherein the maximum dimension extends towards a geometric center of the card body. Accordingly, an advantageous contactless communication with the insert module may be achieved.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Various aspects and illustrative embodiments of the present invention may become clear in the following detailed description, which is presented in accordance with the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1a shows schematically a perspective view of a conventional smart card;

Fig. 1b shows a cross-sectional view along the line b-b in Fig. 1a; Fig. 2 shows an insert module in accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure;

Fig. 3 schematically shows a top view including a schematic circuitry of an insert module in accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure;

Fig. 4 schematically shows a card body in accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure;

Fig. 5 schematically shows a smart card in accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure;

Fig. 6 schematically shows a cross-sectional view (exploded) of a portion of a smart card according to some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure; and

Fig. 7 schematically shows different layouts of an antenna in accordance with some illustrative embodiments.

Detailed Description

Referring to Fig. 2, an insert module 1 in accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure is illustrated. The insert module 1 has an entirety 3 of electric and electronic components. For example, the schematic illustration of Fig. 2 shows a contact pad as an illustrative but non-limiting example of an electric component. This does not pose any limitation to the present disclosure and the entirety 3 of electric and electronic components may alternative or additionally comprise at least one of the following list of components (not illustrated) comprising an antenna, a fingerprint sensor, a dynamic CW (also known as card verification value), a smart card module, a battery and a display. Furthermore, the insert module 1 has an edge 5.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert modulel may have a thickness of at most 900pm or, for example, a thickness of at most 840pm or of at most 700pm. For example, the insert module 1 may have a thickness in the range of 600pm or less. Alternatively, the insert module 1 may have a thickness in the range from about 0.6 mm to about 0.7 mm, such as 0.76 mm.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 1 may have a maximum dimension which is greater than 14.25 mm or greater than 19 mm or greater than 23.5 mm. In the illustration of Fig. 2, the maximum dimension may represent a length dimension which corresponds in the explicit illustration of Fig. 2 to a left-right direction perpendicular to an up-down direction. In accordance with some special illustrative example herein, the insert module 1 may have a rectangular shape with a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm. For example, the size of the insert module may be of about 25 mm x 27 mm or smaller, such as a size of about 25 mm x 15 mm or smaller in correspondence with to the size of a sim card.

A possible realization of the insert module 1 in Fig. 2 will be described below with regard to Fig. 3, which shows an insert module 20 in accordance with some illustrative embodiments. The insert module 20 comprises a transponder having an antenna 21 , e.g., an HF antenna, with ends 21a and 21 b connected to terminals of a chip module 23, e.g., a HF chip module, is shown. For example, the antenna 21 and the chip module 23 may be provided on a common substrate 22 of the insert module 1. The transponder may include at least one component such as a display, capacitor, rechargeable battery or an anti-skimming switch, and the like, which are for the sake of clarity not shown in Fig. 3.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the antenna 21 may have a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm. For example, the size of the antenna 21 may be given by 12.5 mm x 11.3 mm or 12.5 mm x 17.9 mm or 12.5 mm x 22.64 mm or 26.7 mm x 11.3 mm or 26.7 mm x 17.90 mm or 26.7 mm x 22.64 mm. Various layouts of the antenna 21 will be described below with regard to Fig. 7 in greater detail.

Furthermore, the insert module 20 may comprise a switch 25 and a capacitor 27 are provided and connected as shown in Fig. 3. The switch 25 may deactivate the HF antenna 21 by disconnecting it from the chip module 23. Disconnecting the antenna 21 may be mechanically or electronically achieved by causing the switch 25 to open for preventing “skimming” (unauthorized contactless interaction a smart card). For example, the switch 25 maybe used to prevent unauthorized reading of the data stored in the memory of the RFID chip or to connect a capacitor or battery. The switching mechanism realized by the switch 25 may be integrated either to short circuit the antenna close to the RFID chip or to disconnect the antenna. The switch 25 may be located at the surface of the insert module 20 or at the inlay level where the antenna 21 is positioned. By pressing the switch 25 at a front surface of the insert module 20, a short-circuit may be lifted or a connection may be made between the antenna 21 and the chip 23. The antenna 21 may be a silver-coated copper wire, tin-coated copper wire, conductive ink, aluminum etched or copper etched structure, and the antenna may be electrically contacted to the switch 25.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the transponder may include at least one RFID chip. For example, the transponder may comprise two RFID chips operating at different frequencies, such as at 125 kHz, 450 kHz, and 13,5MHz or at ultra-high frequency. A first transponder (not illustrated) may wake up a second transponder if an electromagnetic field is applied, thus powering the second transponder to transmit data over a greater distance or at a higher data rate. Alternatively or additionally, the insert module 20 may comprise at least one of a fingerprint sensor, a dynamic CW and a smart card module.

Referring to Fig. 4, a card body 7 is shown, the card body 7 having a recess 9 for accommodating the insert module 1 of Fig. 2. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the recess 9 may be formed in a substrate of the card body 7, extending completely through the substrate of the card body 7 such that it may be referred to as a “hole”. Alternatively, the recess 9 may be formed such that it does not extend completely through the substrate of the card body 7, in which case it is referred to as a “pocket”.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the card body 7 may be formed of wood and/or PET, e.g., r-PET. As the insert module includes the entirety of electric and electronic components, the material of the card body is not limited to a material which complies with the integration of an antenna into the card body 7, for example. In general, any material that may form a bond with an insert module, may be used for the card body 7.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the card body 7 may be formed by a single layer. Alternatively, the card body 7 may be formed by a stack of layers having two or more layers.

In an illustrative example, the recess may be stepped such that the insert module 1 of Fig. 2 will not fall through the recess 9, even when the recess 9 is a hole. In this case, the edge 5 of the insert module 1 in Fig. 2 may be stepped, as well, so as to engage with the stepped recess, or the stepping is such that the insert module 1 may be inserted into the stepped recess 9.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the recess 9 may be formed in a substrate of the card body 7 by using a cutting and/or milling tool. For example, a laser maybe employed, the laser emitting a beam, targeted at the substrate of the card body 7, to ablate material from the substrate to form the recess 9. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, the beam may be scanned back and forth, traversing in one direction entirely across the recess area of the recess 9 to be formed, turning around, and traversing back across the recess area, like plowing a field. Many passes may be required to carve out the entire area of the recess, given that the beam diameter may be typically much smaller than the length or width of the recess 9, for example, 10 to 100 times smaller. The intensity of the beam may be controlled or modulated to control the penetration of the ablation into the substrate. For example, a pulse width modulation beam may be used, such as a laser of a UV laser type (wavelength of about 355nm) with a power ranging from 20 to 70 watts. Alternatively, instead of laser milling, a rotating milling tool maybe employed. The person skilled in the art will appreciate that laser milling can be very effective for Teslin and polycarbonate substrates, while laser milling is less effective for PVC substrate.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, a size of the recess 9 may be determined to be in the range from about 100 to 300 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), preferably in the range from about 150 to 250 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), e.g. about 200 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), wider than a size of the insert module to be inserted into the recess 9. There may be an additional constraint that, in case of the recess 9 being a pocket, a remaining thickness of the card body 7 at the bottom of the recess 9 is in the range of about 50 to 500 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), preferably in the range from about 100 to 350 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), and more preferably in the range from about 150 to about 200 pm (+/- 10% tolerance).

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the recess 9 may have a rectangular shape having a maximum dimension oriented in parallel to a maximum dimension of the card body 7, wherein the maximum dimension extends towards a geometric center of the card body 7.

Referring to Fig. 5, a smart card 10 is schematically illustrated; the smart card 10 having the insert module 1 of Fig. 2 accommodated in the recess 9 of the card body 7 in Fig. 4.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the smart card 10 may be formed by preparing the insert module 1 of Fig.1 , the insert module 1 comprising the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card 10, and preparing the card body 7 of Fig. 4, the card body 7 having the recess 9 in Fig. 4 for accommodating the insert module 1 of Fig. 2 and for allowing the insert module 1 to be inserted into the recess 9 of Fig. 4.

After inserting and accommodating the insert module 1 into the recess 9 in Fig. 4, the insert module 1 maybe sealed into the recess 9 of Fig. 4. Accordingly, the insert module 1 maybe only sealed on at least a portion of its edge (see edge 5 in Fig. 2). For example, the sealing of the insert module 1 into the recess 9 of Fig. 4 may comprise a thermally joining of the insert module 1 and the card body 7 at least partially along an edge portion of the insert module. In accordance with some illustrative examples herein, in which the recess 9 of Fig. 4 is stepped, a sealing may be applied on at least a portion of the edge (5 in Fig. 2) of the insert module 1 at the backside of the insert module 1.

Alternatively, the insert module 1 may be inserted and sealed into the recess 9 in Fig. 3, wherein the insert module 1 maybe sealed on at least a portion of its backside. In illustrative examples herein, the sealing on at least a portion of its backside maybe performed by applying a sealing agent, such as a gluing means, to at least a portion of the backside and/or the recess 9 in Fig. 3 and inserting the insert module into the recess. This embodiment relates to recesses 9 in Fig. 3 that are provided in the form of a pocket or stepped. In the case of a stepped recess, the sealing may be applied to a portion of the backside of the insert module 1 , which comes into contact with the card body 7 when inserting the insert module 1 into the recess 9 in Fig. 3.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, sealing of the insert module 1 inserted into the recess 9 of the card body 7 may comprise performing a thermal sealing process. For example, a hot-melt glue process employing a hot-melt adhesive (not illustrated) such as a thermoplastic adhesive. In some illustrative examples herein, the hot-melt adhesive is heated by a continuous duty heating element (not illustrated) such that the hot-melt adhesive becomes liquid and subsequently, the liquid adhesive is applied by dipping or spraying or the like to at least one surface of the recess 9, e.g. a bottom surface of the recess 9 and/or at least one side surface of the recess 9 and/or a backside surface of the insert module 1 and/or at least one side surface of the insert module 1. This does not pose any limitation to the present invention and any other sealing process compatible with warping and torsion smartcard constraints may be employed instead.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, in which the recess 9 is a pocket, an illustrative example of a thermal sealing process may comprise applying a metal stamp (not illustrated) having the shape of the insert edge (see edge 5 in Fig. 2). Herein, adhesion between the insert module 1 and the card body 7 is effected by reactivating a hot-melt adhesive punched and laminated on a backside of the insert module 1. Any gap between the insert module 1 and the card body 7 in the recess 9 will be filled by the reactivated hot-melt adhesive when inserting the insert module 1 into the recess 9 of the card body 7.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, in which the recess 9 is a pocket, an illustrative example of a thermal sealing process may comprise a pick & place process, wherein the insert module 1 is inserted into the recess 9. Herein, the recess 9 may have a PVC glue or PVC soldering material placed on its insert edge for sealing the insert module 1 into the card body 7, which will fill any gap between the insert module 1 and the card body 7 in the recess 9.

The smart card 10 of Fig. 5 may be formed by preparing the card body 7 and preparing the insert module 1. For example the card body 7 of Fig. 4 may be prepared by performing a PVC lamination process for forming a prefinished card body indicated via reference numeral 7 in Fig. 4, and forming the recess 9 in the prefinished card body 7, the recess 9 having a geometry and size that allows a snugly fit of the insert module 1 shown in Fig. 2 in the recess 9 of the card body 7 shown in Fig. 4. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 1 may have a substantially planar surface on its front. In this case, when inserting the insert module 1 into the recess 9 and sealing the insert module 1 into the card body 7, a surface of the finished card body 7 may be smooth and planar without any protrusion in its surface caused by the insert module 1. Alternatively, the insert module 1 may have at least one component formed thereon, which component protrudes from a front surface of the insert module 1 and from the finished card body 7 once the insert module 1 is inserted and sealed to the card body 7. Such a protruding component may be a switching element, a display and the like. In this case, a ring structure (not illustrated) may be provided on a back surface of the insert module 1 , i.e., the surface of the insert module 1 , which comes into contact with a bottom surface of the recess 9. The ring structure may be left for a hot-melt applied during sealing, typically in the range from about 1 to 2 mm.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure, the smart card 10 of Fig. 5 may be exposed to a visual personalization of the card body 7, the visual personalization of the card body 7 comprising forming at least one of hologram, one or more names, and numbers on the card body 7 by performing at least one of printing, laminating, gluing, punching, embossing, stamping, milling, cutting and shaping. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the visual personalization may be performed at the stage shown in Fig. 4, i.e., the visual personalization may be performed directly on the card body 7 shown in Fig. 4. Alternatively, the visual personalization of the card body 7 may be performed at the stage shown in Fig. 5, i.e., after the insert module 1 is inserted into the recess 9 of the card body 7 as shown in Fig. 4.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 4 of the present disclosure, the insert module 1 may comprise a smart card module (not illustrated) and the smart card module (not illustrated) may be electronically personalized. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the electronic personalization may be performed prior to or after inserting the insert module into the recess 9 of the card body 7 shown in Fig. 4.

Referring to Fig. 6, a cross sectional exploded view of a portion of a smart card 30 is shown. The smart card 30 comprises a multilayer substrate 31 , having a first layer 31a, a second layer 31 b and a third layer 31c. Although three layers 31a to 31c are shown, this does not pose any limitation to the present disclosure and at least one layer, e.g., the layer 31a, may be provided. The substrate 31 may correspond to the card body 7 shown in Figs. 3 and 4 and described above such that the disclosure provided above with regard to the card body 7 applies to the multilayer substrate 31 , as well, and vice versa.

As illustrated in Fig. 6, a recess 33 is formed in the layer 31a of the substrate 31 . In accordance with some illustrative embodiments and as illustrated in Fig. 6, the recess 33 may be formed as a pocket in the layer 31a of the substrate 31. This does not pose any limitation to the present disclosure and the recess may be formed as a hole (not illustrated) and/or as having a stepped configuration. In accordance with some illustrative examples, the recess 33 may extend completely through at least the layer 31a of the multilayer substrate 31 and may only partially extend into another one of the layers 31 b and 31c or any other subsequent layer, which is not illustrated in Fig. 6 such that a pocket is formed in the multilayer substrate 31.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, a size of the recess 33 may be determined to be in the range from about 100 to 300 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), preferably in the range from about 150 to 250 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), e.g. about 200 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), wider than a size of the insert module to be inserted into the recess 33. There may be an additional constraint that, in case of the recess 33 being a pocket, a remaining thickness of the substrate 31 at the bottom of the recess 33 is in the range of about 50 to 500 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), preferably in the range from about 100 to 350 pm (+/- 10% tolerance), and more preferably in the range from about 150 to about 200 pm (+/- 10% tolerance).

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the recess 33 may have a rectangular shape having a maximum dimension oriented in parallel to a maximum dimension of the multilayer substrate 31 , wherein the maximum dimension extends towards a geometric center of the multilayer substrate 31 .

With continued reference to Fig. 6, an insert module 35 is accommodated into the recess 33, the insert module 35 having a geometry in size allowing a snugly fit of the insert module 35 in the recess 33. For example, the insert module 35 may have a thickness of at most 900 pm , such as 840 pm or less. For example, the insert module 35 may have a thickness in the range from about 0.6 mm to about 0.7 mm, such as 0.76 mm. The insert module 35 may correspond to the insert module 1 as shown in Fig. 2, and 5 and described above such that the disclosure provided above with regard to insert module 1 applies to the insert module 35, as well, and vice versa. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 35 may include an entirety 36 of electric and electronic components to be integrated into the smart card 30. In some illustrative examples, the electric and electronic components may comprise electric devices 37a, e.g., active and passive devices such as transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, switches and the like, connection elements 37b, contact elements 37c, a base substrate 38a on which and into which the entirety 36 is integrated, and an optional encapsulation or packaging 38b. In some illustrative examples, the entirety 36 of electric and electronic components may comprise at least one of an antenna, a fingerprint sensor, a dynamic CVV, a smart card module, a battery, a chip, and a display. For example, an antenna and a chip may be provided on a common substrate of the insert module 35. In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 35 may be inserted and sealed into the recess 33, wherein the insert module 35 is only sealed on at least a portion of its edge 35e. For example, the sealing of the insert module 35 into the recess 33 may comprise a thermally joining of the insert module 35 and the substrate 31 at least partially along the portion of the edge 35e of the insert module 35. Alternatively, the insert module 35 may be inserted and sealed into the recess 33, wherein the insert module 35 is sealed on at least a portion of its back side which corresponds to a surface of the packaging 38b which is brought into mechanical contact with a bottom surface of the recess 33 when inserting the insert module 35 into the recess 33. The back side of the insert module 35 is opposite a front side 35b of the insert module 35. This does not pose any limitation to the present invention and the insert module 35 may be inserted in an orientation relative to the illustration in Fig. 6 which is reversed, for example, the front side 35b my become the back side of the insert module 35.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 35 may have a maximum dimension which is greater than 14.25 mm or greater than 19 mm or greater than 23.5 mm. In the illustration of Fig. 6, the maximum dimension may represent a length dimension which corresponds in the explicit illustration of Fig. 6 to a left-right direction perpendicular to an up-down direction. In accordance with some special illustrative example herein, the insert module 35 may have a rectangular shape with a size in a range from about 10.00 mm to about 27 mm times a range from about 10.00 mm to about 25 mm. For example, the size of the insert module 35 may be of about 25 mm x 27 mm or smaller, such as of about 25 mm x 15 mm or smaller in correspondence with the size of a sim card.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments and as illustrated in Fig. 6, the entirety 36 of electric and electronic components may be optionally provided on a carrier substrate 39. Furthermore, an optional covering layer 41 maybe provided on the insert module 35 for encapsulating the entirety 36 of electric and electronic components, at least partially. For example, the covering layer 41 maybe a passivating layer and/or the layer 41 may contain at least partially a third material in order to enhance the magnetic flux in one direction. In some illustrative examples, the optional covering layer 41 may be provided on the insert module 35 when preparing the insert module 35.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, an optional sealing layer 43 maybe provided over the insert module 35, once the insert module 35 is accommodated in the recess 33.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 35 may be releasably accommodated in the recess 33 such that the insert module 35 may be replaced by a different insert module. Additionally or alternatively, the insert module 35 may be accommodated in the recess 33 such that the insert module 35 may be snugly fit in the recess 33 so as to realize a smooth surface of the smart card 30 along the edge 35e of the insert module 35. In this case, a depth of the recess 33 may correspond to a thickness of the insert module 35 such that the smooth surface of the smart card 30 is achieved, i.e., the insert module 35 does not protrude out of the surface of the substrate 31 . In case that the optional sealing layer 43 is present, the sealing layer 43 may have a size and shape so as to be snugly fit into the recess 33 when accommodating the insert module 35 in the recess 33.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 35 may be sealed into the recess 33 by a thermal sealing process. For example, a hot-melt glue process employing a hot- melt adhesive (not illustrated) such as a thermoplastic adhesive. In some illustrative examples herein, the hot-melt adhesive is heated by a continuous duty heating element (not illustrated) such that the hot-melt adhesive becomes liquid and subsequently, the liquid adhesive is applied by dipping or spraying or the like to at least one surface of the recess 33, e.g. a bottom surface of the recess 33 and/or at least one side surface of the recess 33 and/or a backside surface of the insert module 35 and/or at least one side surface of the insert module 35. This does not pose any limitation to the present invention and any other sealing process compatible with warping and torsion smartcard constraints may be employed instead.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, in which the recess 33 is a pocket, an illustrative example of a thermal sealing process may comprise applying a metal stamp (not illustrated) having the shape of the insert edge (see edge 5 in Fig. 2). Herein, adhesion between the insert module 35 and the substrate 31 is effected by reactivating a hot-melt adhesive punched and laminated on a backside of the insert module 35. Any gap between the insert module 35 and the substrate 31 in the recess 33 will be filled by the reactivated hot-melt adhesive when inserting the insert module 35 into the recess 33 of the substrate 31.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, in which the recess 33 is a pocket, an illustrative example of a thermal sealing process may comprise a pick-and-place process, wherein the insert module 35 is inserted into the recess 33. Herein, the recess 33 may have a PVC glue or PVC soldering material placed on its insert edge for sealing the insert module 35 into the substrate 31 which will fill any gap between the insert module 35 and the substrate 31 in the recess 33.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the insert module 35 may have a substantially planar surface on its front. In this case, when inserting the insert module 35 into the recess 33 and sealing the insert module 35 into the substrate 31 , a surface of the finished card body may be smooth and planar without any protrusion in its surface caused by the insert module 35. Alternatively, the insert module 35 may have at least one component formed thereon, which component protrudes from a front surface of the insert module 35 and from the finished card body once the insert module 35 is inserted and sealed to the substrate 31. Such a protruding component may be a switching element, a display and the like. In this case, ring structure (not illustrated), may be provided on a back surface of the insert module 35, i.e., the surface of the insert module 35 which comes into contact with a bottom surface of the recess 33. The ring structure may be left for a hot-melt applied during sealing, typically in the range from about 1 to 2 mm.

With continued reference to Fig. 6, the substrate 31 may only have a visual personalization formed therein, the visual personalization comprising at least one of a hologram, one or more names, and numbers. In particular, no electric and electronic components are provided in the substrate 31 outside the recess 33 such that the entirety 36 of electric and electronic components are the only electric and electronic components provided in the smart card 30.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, each of the substrate 31 and the insert module 35 may be formed of PVC. Alternatively, the substrate 31 may be formed of a thermoplastic material (a plastic polymer material that becomes pliable or moldable at a certain elevated temperature and solidifies upon cooling, such as Polyolefin, polyester, vinylic, styrenic, polycarbonate, polyamide, acrylate and other material), a thermosetting material (a material that is irreversibly hardened by curing from a soft solid or viscous liquid material, such as epoxy, Polyurethane, ceramic, ...), a natural material and/or an organic materials, such as wood or a wood based material, hard wood, bamboo, cork, corn, .... one or more metallic materials and alloys, a composite material (e.g. stone paper, reinforced epoxy resin, crystal and polycrystal and the like), and a ceramic material. As the insert module includes the entirety of electric and electronic components, the material of the substrate 31 is not limited to a material which complies with the integration of an antenna into the substrate 31 , for example. In general, any material that may form a bond with an insert module, may be used for the substrate 31.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments, the smart card 30 may correspond to the smart card 10 shown in Fig. 5 and described above such that the disclosure provided above with regard to the smart card 10 applies to the smart card 30, as well, and vice versa.

A process for forming a smart card, the smart card 10 in Fig. 5 and the smart card 30 in Fig. 6, may comprise a preparing of an insert module to be inserted into a card body, the insert module comprising the entire electrics and electronics of the smart card to be fabricated (or, in other words, having the entire electrics and electronics of the finished smart card integrated therein), preparing a card body by performing a body lamination process and performing a recessing for forming a recess, e.g., a module slot milling process, inserting the insert module into the card body and performing a sealing, e.g., a hot-melt adhesion process.

In some illustrative embodiments, an insert module (corresponding to the insert module 1 and/or 35) may be prepared by fabricating the electric and electronic components on a tape in accordance with Smart Label Technologies. Herein, a smart label is an extremely flat configured transponder under a conventional print-coded label, which includes at least a chip, an antenna and bonding/contact elements as a so-called inlay. The labels, made of paper, fabric or plastics such as PET, are prepared as a roll with the inlays laminated between the rolled carrier and the label media for use in specially-designed printer units. For example, an insert module as described in the various aspects and embodiments of the present invention may be provided as a smart label. For example, TMA (which stands for Tag Module Assembly) techniques, may be employed, where electric and electronic components, such as an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip, are applied onto a positioning strip (which is called an interposer), wherein interposer modules fabricated. In further processes, an antenna may be mounted onto an antenna substrate (e.g., a substrate in tape form), wherein a coil made out of copper or aluminum may be applied onto a surface of the substrate, e.g., by printing techniques. In order to produce a functional label, the interposer is separated and connected with high speed to the antenna coil. Typically, the finished labels are tested for their function before they are rolled up.

With regard to Fig. 7, different layouts of the antenna of the insert module described above, are presented.

Fig. 7A shows a first antenna layout given by a coil C1 relative to a contact area C2 e.g., a contact plate accommodated into a surface of an insert module. The coil C1 and the contact area C2 may be provided on a tape with a pitch in the range of 10 mm to about 15mm, e.g., a pitch of 14.25 mm. For example, the antenna given by the coil C1 may have a size of 12.5 mm x 11 .3 mm.

Fig. 7B shows a second antenna layout given by a coil C3 relative to a contact area C4, e.g., a contact plate accommodated into a surface of an insert module. The coil C3 and the contact area C4 may be provided on a tape with a pitch in the range of 15 mm to about 20mm, e.g., a pitch of 19 mm. For example, the antenna given by the coil C3 may have a size of 12.5 mm x 17.9 mm.

Fig. 7C shows a third antenna layout given by a coil C5 relative to a contact area C6, e.g., a contact plate accommodated into a surface of an insert module. The coil C5 and the contact area C6 may be provided on a tape with a pitch in the range of 20 mm to about 25mm, e.g., a pitch of 23.75 mm. For example, the antenna given by the coil C5 may have a size of 12.5 mm x 22.64 mm. Fig. 7D shows a fourth antenna layout given by a coil C7 relative to a contact area C8, e.g., a contact plate accommodated into a surface of an insert module. The coil C7 and the contact area C8 may be provided on a tape with a pitch in the range of 10 mm to about 15mm, e.g., a pitch of 14.25 mm. For example, the antenna given by the coil C3 may have a size of 26.7 mm x 11.3 mm.

Fig. 7E shows a fifth antenna layout given by a coil C9 relative to a contact area C10, e.g., a contact plate accommodated into a surface of an insert module. The coil C9 and the contact area C10 may be provided on a tape with a pitch in the range of 15 mm to about 20mm, e.g., a pitch of 19 mm. For example, the antenna given by the coil C9 may have a size of 26.7 mm x 17.9 mm.

Fig. 7F shows a sixth antenna layout given by a coil C11 relative to a contact area C12, e.g., a contact plate accommodated into a surface of an insert module. The coil C11 and the contact area C12 may be provided on a tape with a pitch in the range of 20 mm to about 25mm, e.g., a pitch of 23.75 mm. For example, the antenna given by the coil C11 may have a size of 26.7 mm x 22.64 mm.

The antenna layouts shown in Fig. 7 have some features in common. For example, the antenna layouts shown in Fig. 7A, 7B, and 7C have an identical pitch in a horizontal direction in the paper plane of Fig. 7, whereas the antenna layouts shown in Fig. 7D, 7E, and 7F have an identical pitch in the horizontal direction in the paper plane of Fig. 7. Regarding a pitch along a vertical direction, the antenna layouts shown in Fig. 7A and 7D are identical, the antenna layouts in Fig. 7B and 7E are identical, and the antenna layouts in Fig. 7C and 7F are identical.

In accordance with various aspects of the present invention, the insert module itself may represent a small smart card by itself being integrated into a card body, wherein the entire electric and electronic function is provided by the small smart card. Therefore, the mere card body does not have any electric and electronic function realized therein as long as the insert module is not inserted.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present invention, a hot-melt adhesive may be provided by thermoset nitrile-phenolic or co-polyamide.

In accordance with some illustrative embodiments of the present invention, an antenna may be connected to a chip in an insert module via at least one vertical interconnection or in a wireless manner.

In some illustrative embodiments of the present invention, an insert module may comprise an antenna and at least one of a chip and a contact plate, wherein a pitch of the insert module may be greater than 14 mm. Additionally or alternatively, the insert module may extend in its length direction towards a geometrical center of a card body. Additionally or alternatively, the antenna may be routed underneath of an EG substrate in the insert module.

In accordance with at least some of the above described embodiments, a simplified card manufacturing may be provided, wherein wire embedding into a card body and a card lamination step are not necessary, and/or it is possible to provide smart cards having communication distances of less than 4 cm, e.g. in the range up to about 2 cm.

In summary, the present invention provides in various aspects a smart card and a method of forming a smart card, wherein the smart card has an entirety of electric and electronic components which are all provided with an insert module. The insert module having the entirety of electric and electronic components of the smart card, is accommodated into a recess provided in a card body of the smart card.