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TCOS Smartcards ⋅ Overview

Just as frozen food requires an uninterrupted cold chain from the manufacturer to the end consumer, secure information technology requires seamless end-to-end security to ensure confidentiality and authenticity. This can only be achieved by reliable cryptographic functionalities based on high-quality keys that are securely stored.

The creation of high-quality cryptographic keys and their secure storage are technological and organizational challenges.

As proposed solution, Telekom Security has created a chipcard operating system (TeleSec Chipcard Operating System, TCOS), which is capable of keeping keys safe and executing the cryptographic algorithm within the chip. Once imported into the chipcard, no key ever leaves the secure memory of the chip and no copies of the keys are kept. This enables customers to create unique digital identities by assigning identifying characteristics to these cryptographic keys.

Based on TCOS, there are different standard products available, all of them providing preinstalled key material by the Telekom Security Trust Center.

Typical fields of application for TCOS products

  • Electronic signatures (advanced and qualified according SigG),
  • De- and encryption,
  • Enterprise or customer cards,
  • Security systems (ID and key technology),
  • Authentication (e.g. OneTimePass)
  • Access solutions,
  • Recording flexitime,
  • Payment- and ticketing systems.

TCOS Smartcards are ideally suited for integration into existing or developing smartcard-based customer systems. Our support with the integration of such hardware security elements ranges from the development of the first ideas to the analysis for the selection of the suitable TCOS product, the integration via the card interfaces as well as the roll-out of the chipcard.

Your advantages

  • Own chipcard operating system 

    You benefit from mature solutions based on the reliable operating system TeleSec Chipcard Operating System (TCOS) that is maintained and developed by Telekom Security since 1990.
  • Market leadership in the field of identification systems

    Our team has many years of experience and extensive knowledge in implementing evaluated and certified products and solutions. More than 190 Mio. Smartcards with TCOS are embedded in electronic passports and national ID card (e.g. German ID card, passport, residence permit and many more).
  • Secure storage and anchors for digital identities 

    TCOS Smartcards support a broad range of cryptographic functions for signing and de-/encryption, for unambiguous authentication and identification of persons or IT components as well as protection against copying and plagiarism
  • Hardware security in various form factors 

    Certified hardware security elements provide cryptographic functions that protect personal data from attacks such as side channel attacks, manipulation or "reverse engineering", thus ensuring secrecy, integrity and authenticity. Various form factors provide flexibility for different use cases.

The right Smartcard for your use business:

Proof of identity

Prevention of the pretence of a false identity that would allow fraudulent performance or malicious manipulation.

Two-factor authentication

TCOS Smartcards for secure identification and authentication by proving possession and knowledge (password or PIN).

Legal requirements

Smartcard based solutions to implement legal requirements such as EU specifications and technical guidelines of national or international authorities and institutions

How to order TCOS Smartcards

Send us your request including your preferred TCOS Smartcard, order volume and your contact information. After checking your order we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The standard products use our chipcard operating system TCOS. In the following section you will find more information about the operating system itself, drivers and middleware as well as the various product variants to help you find a suitable TCOS product for your demand.

TeleSec Chipcard Operating System (TCOS) 3.0

The operating systems TCOS (TeleSec Chipcard Operating System) is the basis for the chipcard portfolio described below.

Driver and middleware

Crypto token like our TCOS based chipcards provide secure key storage and cryptographic algorithms. Telekom Security offers drivers and middleware to enable their integration into software solutions.

Learn more

Product variants



TCOS 3.0 Signature Card 2.0
TeleSec NetKey 3.0
TeleSec IDKey

Operating system

TCOS 3.0

TCOS 3.0

TCOS 3.0

Type of communication

T=1 (contact-based),
T=1 und T=CL (dual interface)

T=1 (contact-bbased)

T=1 (contact-based)

Access control

zero-PIN and multiple-PIN

zero-PIN and multiple-PIN

zero-PIN and multiple-PIN

Asymmetric cryptography

RSA with max. 2048 Bit key length

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ECDSA with 256 Bit

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ECDH with 256 Bit

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Symmetric cryptography


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SigG with RSA

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SigG with ECC

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NKS with RSA

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NKS with ECC

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ZRT (access)

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GLAZ (flexitime)

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  • Here you find a selection of information about TCOS Smartcards. More documents can be found in the "Service" section. > Go to Downloads