Secure MicroSD Venture Led by Giesecke & Devrient Liquidates
Germany-based smart card company Giesecke & Devrient and Taiwan-based flash memory chip supplier Phison Electronics have dissolved their joint venture that had targeted the market for microSD cards to store mobile-payment applications.
The two companies formed the joint venture, Giesecke & Devrient Secure Flash Solutions, in October of 2009, together investing an estimated €3 million (US$4.5 million). G&D owned a reported 70% of the company, while Phison held the remainder. Phison in 2009 confirmed it had invested €900,000 for its 30% stake, which would indicate G&D put up €2.1 million in initial funding.
To enable mobile payment, the venture had originally intended to produce microSDs with an embedded antenna that could give non-NFC phones a contactless interface. It later switched its development to microSDs that could connect via a single-wire protocol, or SWP, connection to NFC chips and antennas in full NFC phones.
While the joint venture was small, its liquidation casts some doubt on the market for microSDs that work in full NFC phones. But in disclosing that the companies had dissolved the joint venture, effective at the end of 2012, G&D said it would continue to supply secure flash memory products.