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Mobile PoS reader runs Linux

Apr 2, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 43 views

Dutch “digital security” company Gemalto announced a lighter, more mobile version of its Linux-based Magic3 family of point-of-sale (PoS) terminals. The Magic3 W-1 runs the company's “Open&Sec” PoS security stack on top of Linux, and offers a USB port, an Ethernet port, and WiFi dongle support, says the company.

The Magic3 W-1 is aimed at PoS applications that require mobility, such as restaurants and outdoor retail outlets, says Amsterdam-based Gemalto. The device is billed as "a cost-effective solution for wireless payment, requiring no extra subscription nor additional communication fees."

Gemalto's Magic3 W-1

(Click to enlarge)

According to Gemalto, "several important financial institutions are currently leading the W-1 deployment in Europe and in Asia. The device has obtained Payment Card Industry PIN-Entry Device certification (PCI PED), as well as EMV worldwide certification, says the company.

Despite its shipping status, Gemalto has yet to post information on the W-1 model. The company does offer detailed specs on other models, however, including an almost identical looking Magic3 M-series (pictured at right).

The M-series terminal runs Linux on an unnamed 32-bit, 200MHz ARM9 processor with a memory management unit (MMU). The ARM9 chip is paired with a second 32-bit processor that handles security, says Gemalto. An allotment of 16MB SDRAM and 8MB flash is also said to be provided.

The 7.3 x 3.3 x 2.4-inch (18.5 x 8.5 x 6.0cm), 14.1 ounce (400 gram) Magic3 M-series is equipped with a monochrome, backlit 128 x 64 display, and offers a standard 18-key PoS keypad, says Gemalto. The device also supplies a GSM/GPRS module, and a variety of card readers, including external EMV 4.1 smart-card reader and a bi-directional MagStripe (ISO 1&2&3) reader. Internally it provides a GSM SIM reader, and two SAM (secure access module) SIM readers, says the company. An 18-line-per-second thermal printer is also said to be integrated.

Magic3 M-series

The M-series is available in M3, M5, and M8 models, all of which offer a USB 2.0 Host port, available for plugging in peripherals such as check and barcode readers, as well as WiFi dongles. In addition, the M5 and M8 models provide a charging base with an additional USB 2.0 Host port, as well as an RS232C port, says Gemalto. The charging base for the M8 also supplies a 10/100 Ethernet port and a V32 Bis modem port, says the company.

Power supplies support 100-240V, 50/60 Hz (AC) and 12V, 2A (DC) connections, says Gemalto. The device is said to handle temperatures ranging from 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 40 deg. C).

The Open&Sec stack supports a variety of security protocols, including PCI PED, MCI PTS, and APACS CC EAL4, SSL v3, says Gemalto. In addition, the M-series is said to integrate 3DES and RSA algorithms, as well as key management protocols including Master Session and DUKPT (derived unique key per transaction).

Gemalto offers a variety of Linux-based, Open&Sec-enabled Magic3 PoS terminals, including larger desktop models (X-series and Evolution-series), compact desktop (C-series), multi-lane retail (R-series), and pin-pad (P-series). The company is also working on a contactless model, using a short-range wireless technology, presumably NFC (near field communications). Gemalto claims 2009 revenues of 1.65 billion Euros, with over 10,000 employees in 40 countries, and says it has shipped more than a half million Magic3 payment terminals.

Stated Frederic Deman, SVP e-payment terminals at Gemalto, "Magic3 W-1 offers mobility, speed and ease-of-use that make it really convenient for retailers to present the terminal to their customers. Our customers have started deploying Magic3 W-1 and we already received very positive reactions. Retailers using the Ethernet broadband connection expressed strong satisfaction with the transaction speed."

Gemalto joins Android's OHA

In late March, Gemalto announced it had joined the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), the industry consortium that oversees the Google-backed Android platform. The company suggested that Android might arrive first not on its PoS terminals, but on its telecom-related products.

Gemalto does not make cellphones, but offers a variety of telecom-related hardware and software offerings, including mobile TV technology and mobile NFC-based contactless payment technology. It also manufactures a "Smart Video Card" SIM card for mobile phones that enables carriers to load promotional video on phones using DVD-based technology.


The Magic3 W-1 is available now, says Gemalto, which did not list pricing. No product information is currently available, but the W-1 should eventually appear on Gemalto's PoS device page, here. More information on the similar Magic3 M-series may be found here.

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