Smart Card Vendors: Please document ATR’s and Driver DLLs

Chilkat auto-recognizes HSM’s (smart cards and USB tokens) by the ATR.

A Smart Card Answer to Reset (ATR) is a special sequence of bytes sent by a smart card when it is powered on or reset. It serves as the initial communication between the card and the card reader or terminal.

The ATR contains information about the card’s characteristics, including historical bytes that may include identifiers specific to the card’s manufacturer and type.

Some smart card manufacturers publish documentation that maps ATR values to specific card models or families. This documentation may provide insight into the meaning of certain bytes or combinations of bytes within the ATR.

There are online databases and tools available that attempt to catalog ATR values and provide information about the corresponding smart cards. These databases may not cover every card on the market, but they can be helpful in identifying common cards.

Dear Smart Card and USB Token Vendors:

In your publicly available documentation, PLEASE fully document the ATR values for your HSM’s.   It will allow software vendors, such as Chilkat, to automatically recognize your HSM’s and software will “just work”.

Also, in addition to indicating the supported interfaces (PKCS11, ScMinidriver, CNG/CAPI) PLEASE specify the driver DLLs, and CSP names for each interface.  It is always an arduous task to find this information.