Infineon wins e-passport contract from US government

Chip maker Infineon won a contract from the US government to supply security chips for an electronic passport system, according to a Reuters report.

The US planned to start issuing the passports to citizens by the end of the year, with about 15 million electronic passports in the first year, the report said.

"Infineon will supply chips for several million passports, but not for all 15 million," an Infineon spokeswoman told Reuters.

The report said the company declined to give any further details about the size and value of the contract.

Infineon is the first and currently the only supplier for the kind of security chips contracted by the US government, according to the company.

Countries such as Germany, Hong Kong, Norway and Sweden were also using Infineon's security chip for their electronic passport systems, the report said.

Worldwide, there are currently about 900 million passports, with an estimated 125 million being issued or exchanged every year, according to Infineon.

The security chip, which stores the passport-holder's name, date of birth, issue date and picture, can be read electronically by a scanner, the report further said.