Making smart cards smarter

From healthcare, transportation and retail to security and FinTech, the smart card has
become an essential element of our way of life today.

Why stop at embedding a computer chip, however? Why not also integrate a display for improved security and wallet slimming functionality as well as flexibility?

Increased benefit without compromise

Imagine designing a smart card display which not only shows information dynamically and in high resolution, but also withstands known user behavior - including being put in a back pocket and sat on.

Well, with our Lectum® plastic displays you can! They are glass-free, making them inherently robust and shatterproof and compliant with ISO bending requirements, so designers can get on with the important stuff and not worry about having to compromise on user experience.

  • glass-free and flexible
  • robust and shatterproof
  • ultrathin (≥475µm) for use in ISO standard smart cards
  • lightweight and low power
  • suitable for integration in standard smart card format

Same smart card – Increased utility

The ability to augment the functionality of a smart card with a display and yet maintain standard measurements and weight is possibly a challenge for some. Integrating a thin and lightweight Lectum display, however, turns the challenge into child’s play, because our displays can be as thin as 475µm, making them ideal for use in ISO standard smart cards. Furthermore, Lectum displays can easily be integrated with a flexible touch screen. And if you need assistance, we can show you how.

Application support

Smart Cards

Low power for improved usability

Being an electrophoretic display (EPD), Lectum is intrinsically low power since it only requires battery when an image is updated.

The benefits are clear for both our customers and the consumer; thinner and/or printed batteries can be considered for design and the end user still benefits from a device, which only has to be charged occasionally, as opposed to on a daily basis.

Flexible displays for enhanced design

Lectum is the ideal component for enhanced smart card design. Whilst a reference design is available for your convenience, we do also offer custom plastic display.

Discover how easy it is to integrate our flexible EPDs today!

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Further markets

Our glass-free Lectum displays can be integrated in a wide range of applications
and are considered particularly well suited for smart cards, but also for products in the markets:

Smart cards - FAQ


How flexible are Lectum displays?

Unlike conventional glass-based EPDs, Lectum displays are plastic based and therefore the only truly flexible, active-matrix EPDs on the market. They have a typical bendability radius of 50 mm.


How heavy are Lectum displays?

A display’s weight depends on its size and configuration. Please refer to the respective datasheet for details.


Do Lectum displays have touch?

Lectum displays are not equipped with a touch sensor as standard. However, we have extensive experience in the use of touch sensors with our EPDs and are happy to support our customers in the integration of our displays with touch into their end applications.


How much power do Lectum displays require?

Our Lectum displays are truly bi-stable meaning power is only needed for an update and not to show a static image. The energy required for a typical image update depends on the display size and driver chip setup; starting at just a few mJ per update for smaller displays, allowing battery-less NFC applications. For details please refer to the respective datasheet.


What is electrophoretic technology?

Electrophoretic technology refers to the process whereby thousands of microcapsules, containing (negatively charged) black and (positively charged) white pigments suspended in a clear fluid, are encapsulated in a plastic sheet.

When a charge (positive or negative) is applied, the corresponding particles move to the top of the microcapsule and the surface appears black or white in this specific area. When the charge is removed, the particles stay where they are. This is called bi-stability: where something can rest in either of two states.

In the case of an EPD, the text and/or images remain on the screen until the next update and the user can continue to view the content without the need for battery power. This means EPDs are inherently low-power and is one of the main differentiators to conventional backlit flat panel displays, where a constant power supply is required to maintain content.


What is a bi-stable display?

A bi-stable display makes use of a bi-stable technology, in this case electrophoresis. The image on a bi-stable display is retained and can be read without a power supply, meaning that any device using such a display is generally deemed to be “low-power”. For example, an eReader only uses battery power when the user turns a page and not when the content is static and being read, which is why many of these devices can claim to have a battery life of up to several weeks between charges. (N.b. eReaders do also require battery power for connectivity, touch, standby and any front light.)