FeliCa is a contactless RFID smart card system from Sony in Japan, primarily used in electronic money cards. The name stands for Felicity Card. First utilized in the Octopus card system in Hong Kong, the technology is used in a variety of cards also in countries such as Singapore, Japan and the United States.
FeliCa's encryption key is dynamically generated each time mutual authentication is performed, preventing fraud such as impersonation.
FeliCa is externally powered, i.e. it does not need a battery to operate. The card uses power supplied from the special FeliCa card reader when the card comes in range. When the data transfer is complete, the reader will stop the supply of power.
FeliCa was proposed for ISO/IEC 14443 Type C but was rejected. However, ISO/IEC 18092 (Near Field Communication) uses some similar modulation methods. It uses Manchester coding at 212 kbit/s in the 13.56 MHz range. A proximity of 10 centimeters or less is required for communication.
FeliCa complies with JIS: X6319-4: Specification of implementation for integrated circuit(s) cards - Part 4: High speed proximity cards. The standard is regulated by JICSAP (Japan IC Card System Application Council).
The UK IT security evaluation and certification scheme provides more detail as to the internal architecture of the FeliCa card (RC-S860 ). FeliCa IC card (hardware) and its operating system has obtained ISO15408 Evaluation Assurance Level 4 (“EAL4”), a standard which indicates the security level of information technology and consumer products.
FeliCa is also included as a condition of the NFC Forum Specification Compliance.
The next generation of FeliCa IC chip announced in June 2011 will have enhanced security adopting the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. Sony claims the next generation chip will have a higher performance, reliability and lower power consumption.