What is a goldwafer card? Goldwafer cards look like any
typical smart card, such as a telecard, as seen below (images 1 and
2). They contain a PIC-16F84 microcontroller and a 2kb EEPROM
(24C16). Goldwafer cards are programmable smart cards, thus they can be
used as prototypes for other smart cards or just for small projects.
The schematic below (image 3) shows how the PIC and EEPROM are
wired to the contacts of a goldwafer card. Evidently, the EEPROM is
not wired to the contacts, thus it cannot be programmed by any
device in contact with the card. Programming the EEPROM requires
that the PIC is first programmed to act as an EEPROM programmer.
Such a program for the PIC already exists and can be downloaded
How are goldwafer cards programmed? A number of goldwafer
programmers exist. Basically what is required is a PIC programmer
with a smart card contact attached and wired correctly. The
software required is available from many sources including a number
of programs for Linux also. I will probably write a PIC programming
program for Linux in the future.
Where are goldwafer cards sold? There are many web sites
that sell goldwafer cards for about 10-15 euro a piece but it is
possible to construct cards by purchasing the PIC and EEPROM
separately and wiring them together.
Where can I find a Phoenix smart card interface?
gPhoenix, same as WinPhoenix, requires that the target goldwafer
card is inserted into a Phoenix serial smart card interface. Again,
this can either be purchased or constructed, in both cases all
resources are available online (search for 'Phoenix goldwafer
schematic' using any search engine and you'll find all the
The purpose of this program is to allow Linux users to program
24C16 EEPROMs on goldwafer cards. In order to do so, the PIC on
the golfwafer cards must be programmed with a loader, in this case
WinPhoenix_Loader.hex for PIC-16F84 microcontrollers.
gPhoenix is a linux clone of the windows program WinPhoenix but
contains no code of the latter. The only similarities between the
two programs are their look and use, the programs are in no other
way similar, i.e. with respect to algorithms.
I have made gPhoenix to closely resemble WinPhoenix as seen below:
Jan. 2, 2002: The program is complete but I plan on adding more features
such as allowing eeprom data to be saved as hex files, not only
binary. Also, the speed at which the eeproms are programmed is slow
compared to WinPhoenix; I'll try to solve this problem as soon as
June 28, 2002: I have added the features mentioned above but the speed of data transfer is still slow compared to the windows version. Download version 1.0 for the new features.