NXP Semiconductors has announced that the Ecuadorian Government has chosen its SmartMX2 secure microcontroller for the country's new multi-purpose contactless citizen ID card. This extends the cooperation initiated in 2012 with the Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGM) for Ecuador's ePassport programme and continues with a new eID card implementation, enabling all the country's secure electronic ID documents to be produced in Ecuador.Ecuador's eID card programme, based on NXP's SmartMX2 and JCOP Operating System, is one of the largest 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. NXP says the new eID cards are based on the same SmartMX microcontroller as used for the ePassports to ensure secure and interoperable identification and border crossing. 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 company adds: "The strong cooperation between IGM and NXP, with the support of its specialised 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," says 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." "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," says 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," says 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."According to NXP, the JCOP Operating System used in Ecuador is the most widely spread independent, open smart card operating system for governmental applications in the market. The card can be used for conventional citizenship while offering an 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.