DeepCover Secure Authenticator with ISO 15693, I²C, SHA-256, and 4Kb User EEPROM

Industry's First SHA-256 Symmetric Key-Based Authenticator with I²C Master Port

Please check latest availability status for a specific part variant.


DeepCover® embedded security solutions cloak sensitive data under multiple layers of advanced physical security to provide the most secure key storage possible.

Our Secure Drug Delivery video shows how Maxim security products can be used to authenticate remote drug delivery.

The DeepCover Secure Authenticator (MAX66242) is a transponder IC that combines an ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO 18000-3 Mode 1-compatible RF front-end, an I2C front-end, a FIPS 180-based SHA-256 engine and 4096 bits of user EEPROM in a single chip. A bidirectional security model enforces two-way authentication between a host system and the MAX66242. Each device has its own guaranteed unique 64-bit ROM ID that is factory programmed into the chip. This ROM ID is used as a fundamental input parameter for cryptographic operations and serves as an electronic serial number within the application.

In addition to the RF interface, the MAX66242 also has an I2C interface, which can operate as a slave or master port. When acting as a master, the MAX66242 can gather information from a connected sensor or peripheral device and relay its data via the RF port. When acting as a slave, the device can serve as an intermediary between a connected host and an RF reader. The MAX66242 can harvest energy from an active RF field. The configurable supply output can deliver up to 5mA given adequate field strength.
MAX66242: Typical Application Circuit MAX66242: Typical Application Circuit Enlarge+

Key Features

  • Complete Counterfeit/Cloning/IP Protection Engine
    • SHA-256 Engine Runs a Symmetric Key-Based Bidirectional Secure Authentication
    • Strong Authentication Achieved with a High Bit Count, User-Programmable Secret, and Input Challenge
    • Batteryless RF Communication
    • 4096 Bits of User EEPROM with User-Programmable Memory
    • Memory R/W Protection Options Including OTP/EPROM Emulation Mode
    • Unique Factory-Programmed 64-Bit Identification Number
    • Integrated 32-Byte SRAM Buffer Enables Faster HF-to-I2C Transactions
  • Flexible Connection and Communication Capabilities Support a Wide Range of Applications
    • Programmable I/O (PIO) Can Be Configured as a Wake-Up or Monitoring/Control Signal
    • HF Standards ISO/IEC 15693 and 18000-3 MODE1 Compatible (13.56 MHz ±7kHz Carrier Frequency)
    • I2C Interface—Master/Slave Port Eliminates Host Microcontroller for Sensor-Tag Applications
    • Energy Harvesting VOUT Pin for Powering External Components
    • Optional 3.3V Supply Voltage Fits Line and Battery-Powered Applications
    • -40°C to +85°C Operating Temperature Range
  • Enables Robust Design
    • ±4kV HBM ESD Protection on PIO, ±2kV on All Other Pins


  • Access Control
  • Asset Tracking
  • Medical Sensor Authentication and Calibration
  • Printer Cartridge Configuration and Monitoring
  • System Intellectual Property Protection

See parametric specs for NFC/RFID Products (3)

Part NumberProtocolFunctionsApplicationsMemory TypeMemory SizeSecurity FeaturesOper. Temp.
MAX66242 ISO15693Tag
Access Control
Asset Tracking
Electronic Access Control
IP Protection
Medical Sensor Authentication and Calibration
Printer Cartridge Configuration and Monitoring
System Intellectual Property Protection
4K bits
4K x 1
Write-Only Secrets
-20 to +85
SOIC (N)/8

See parametric specs for Secure Authenticators (33)

Part NumberCrypto EngineBus TypeVSUPPLY
Deep CoverPackage/Pins
MAX66242 Symmetric
ISO 15693
2.97 to 3.63Yes
See Data Sheet

Pricing Notes:
This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.

MAX66242EVKIT: Tag Evaluation Kit for the MAX66242, Requires NFC Reader
MAX66300-24XEVKIT: Reader and Tag Evaluation Kit for the MAX66300/MAX66240/MAX66242
Product Reliability Reports: MAX66242.pdf 
Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C   Material Composition  

Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

Quality Management System >
Environmental Management System >


Related Resources

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I²C Low-Voltage SHA-3 Authenticator

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