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SAN JOSE, CA 10 December 1998 . . . Atmel Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) today announced its participation in the Forte' Project led by Litronic in partnership with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Atmel will deliver a 32-bit ARM(TM)-based Smart Card chip design that includes a high-speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface, high capacity EEPROM, ROM and several different hardware encryption engines among other features. Atmel was chosen by Litronic for its ability to combine multiple technologies into a system level integration solution for the next generation FORTEZZA cards currently used by the U.S. government.

Placing the features of the FORTEZZA system on a Smart Card is much more cost effective than the PCMCIA cards in use today. No other Smart Card chip design integrates as many functional features as the Forte' design. This chip is the first to offer practical on-board bulk or stream encryption. It is the first single chip Smart Card solution to provide FIPS 140-1 level 3 security, high performance multiple encryption technology, and multi-application support.

The Forte' chip will leverage Atmel's superior EEPROM technology to provide high memory density combined with a large ROM capacity other logic and analog structures to essentially form a system-on-a- chip for multi-application use.

The Atmel device incorporates cryptographic engines including a fast-math coprocessor for RSA and DSA function, Atmel's proprietary DES engine and a newly developed SkipJack engine.

Atmel has integrated a randomizer that was developed in concert with the NSA, allowing true random number generation for more secure key generation. Atmel will provide all product hardware development and manufacturing within U.S. borders; Litronic will provide the firmware, also developed here in the United States.

Bob Gray, vice president of product development for Litronic said, "Atmel is enabling industry leaders like Litronic to extend our leadership in high-growth markets. Atmel's expertise with regard to reducing system costs and complexity while speeding our time to market was a key factor in selecting them for this project. In addition, the design work on the device is provided by engineering support solely from Atmel's design center in Colorado Springs, Colorado."

Litronic provides multi-platform, standards-based security environments for government and commercial users. This total security solution includes software, enabling toolkits, supporting hardware, and professional services. With more than eight years of experience providing innovative information security solutions, Litronic is an industry leader in the development and implementation of security technologies in the commercial and governmental sectors. For detailed company and product information visit the Litronic web site at

The National Security Agency (NSA) Information Systems Security Organization (ISSO), network Security Group, is tasked with enabling network security solutions for its DOD customers. Project Forte' reaffirms NSA's commitment to enabling solutions that provide a broad range of cost, performance, and security trade-offs as well as support for its customers who have the need to communicate with business, government and financial sectors.

Participating with industrial partners in a technology-sharing venture such as this allows the Government to address its short-term interoperability needs while contributing to the robustness of COTS security products.

Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with principal manufacturing facilities in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nantes and Rousset, France and Heilbronn, Germany.

Atmel designs, manufactures and markets on a worldwide basis advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory, and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system level integration semiconductor solutions using advanced CMOS, BiCMOS, BiPolar and SiGe process technologies.

Atmel product and financial information are available from its Fax-on-Demand service. In North America call 1-(800) 292-8635 or Internationally, call 1-(408) 441-0732. Requests may be made via e-mail to or by visiting Atmel's website at


Atmel Editorial Contacts
Jeff Katz, Vice President of Marketing 408/436-4205
Dan Ratliff, High-End Smart Card Product Manager 719/540-6628
Vicki McCann, Marketing Communications Manager 719/540-1724

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