NXP Secures Electronic ID Cards and Passports in Ecuador

The Ecuadorian Government has again chosen NXP Semiconductors SmartMX2 secure microcontroller for the country’s new multi-purpose contactless citizen ID card.

This extends the successful cooperation initiated in 2012 with the IGM (Instituto Geográfico Militar) for Ecuador’s electronic passport program and continues with a new electronic ID card implementation, enabling all the country’s secure electronic ID documents to be produced in Ecuador.

NXP Semiconductors
Courtesy of NXP Semiconductors

Ecuador’s eID card program, based on NXP’s SmartMX2 and JCOP Operating System, is one of the largest and most ambitious programs of its kind in Latin America.

In addition to the identification function, the new multi-purpose eID cards will enable citizens to use them as travel documents, perform electronic signature operations and access social welfare services provided by the Ecuadorian government.

The new eID cards are based on the same SmartMX microcontroller as used for the electronic passports to ensure secure and truly interoperable identification and border crossing.

William Aragón, director of the Instituto Geográfico Militar del Ecuador

While these identity solutions are typically manufactured abroad and imported, Ecuador’s national ambition is to be autonomous and technologically independent, maximizing the local value add.

The strong cooperation between IGM and NXP, with the support of its specialized distributor AdvanIDe, have enabled Ecuador as one of the very few countries worldwide, to acquire the capabilities to manufacture and issue such complex identity documents.

“Collaborating with NXP and AdvanIDe to roll out eID cards and ePassports has marked a milestone for the country to provide more security and convenience to our fellow citizens,” said William Aragón, director of the Instituto Geográfico Militar del Ecuador.

“Smart governance is the future of public service. It provides more efficiency and transforms the way government services are delivered by creating stronger links between the administration and the citizens.”

“We’re pleased to continue our partnership with NXP, a trusted solution provider for our secure ID solutions.”

Alejandro Placitelli, sales director Latin America at AdvanIDe
Alejandro Placitelli, sales director Latin America at AdvanIDe

“We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the IGM and are committed to our business partner NXP Semiconductors to continue collaborating for the success of these Identification projects in Ecuador,” said Alejandro Placitelli, sales director Latin America at AdvanIDe.

“This announcement is a testament to our successful collaboration with the government of Ecuador to protect their citizens’ identities,” said Stefan Barbu, head of Americas secure identification  business at NXP.

“Our SmartMX microcontroller family continues to gain traction with over 120 countries using it for their eGovernment solutions. SmartMX features more than 100 security mechanisms combined with the highest level of performance to securely store personal data.”

The JCOP Operating System used in Ecuador is the most widely spread independent, open smartcard operating system for governmental applications in the market.

It is also the most complete solution addressing all market segments and applications independent of the form factor, while at the same time meeting highest security and certification standards.

The card can be used for conventional citizenship while offering an array of new embedded social and economic applications.

Personal data and biometric features, such as the card holder’s photo and fingerprints, are stored securely on the SmartMX chip in digital form.


These new cards will also help reduce congestion and process time for renewals, as well as decrease fraud and counterfeiting while increasing security and enhancing a range of government applications.

Serving banks all over the world, NXP’s SmartMX MCU secures transactions on over one-third of the chip-based payment cards in circulation.

NXP’s SmartMX products are also the core component in a variety of digital identity schemes and are deployed in close to 120 out of 145 countries implementing e-Government programs.

Used in many sovereign electronic documents such as ePassports, citizen cards, national ID cards, driving licenses, social security cards and, health cards, SmartMX-based services protect citizens from identity theft and reduce fraud via the products’ world-class security features.

The SmartMX family is also the preferred technology for the secure element of NFC-enabled phones.