UL explains the L1 changes in DTE

January 11, 2017 - EMVCo has recently updated their Level 1 contactless test plan for PCD testing. Since the updates introduced several important changes to the testing methodology, UL have decided to update the vendor community aiming to help prepare for future Level 1 testing.

What will change?

With the L1 changes in DTE in place, laboratories are required to move to fully automated analogue test benches, meaning no more manual cursor placement. This will certainly make TA121 to TA128 and TB121 to TB127 harder to meet.

An updated DTE includes the Transaction Send Application, which is a feature that allows the PCD under test to send pre-defined Type A or Type B commands sets without listening to possible PICC answers, using two modes names “TRANSAC_A” and “TRANSAC_B”. The updated DTE and Test Cases require the screen of the PCD Under Test, when present, to be turned on during all the tests and the new Test Cases version includes updated definitions of the Type A V1 level and of the Type B V1 and V2 levels.

Test Cases TA121 to TA128 shall be performed in TRANSAC_A mode and the measurements shall be performed on all the commands sent by the PCD Under Test. Test Cases TB121 to TB127 shall be performed in TRANSAC_B mode and the measurements shall be performed on all the commands sent by the PCD Under Test. Due to their large number, the results of Test Cases TA121, TA122, TA123, TA124, TA125, TA128, TB121, TB122, TB123, TB126 and TB127 shall be reported as minimum, maximum and average values for each position considered.

What is the idea behind these changes? Why now or why at all?

EMVCo is concerned with the quality related to the analogue type approval testing. They are seeking to improve the contactless product acceptance in the field and therefore aiming to implement the concerned specification technical bulletins which require the regular introduction of new test cases as we informed you below. As a consequence, there are going to be an increased number of measurements and this leads to a more difficult task for a lab to perform testing manually. Thus an automated test solution is thereafter required mandatory.

What impact does the L1 changes in DTE have on vendors?

All device vendors will need to develop the new DTE functionality which is only for testing (no validity to normal transactions). Multiple measurements of the same parameters increase risk of failure and revised definitions of V1 and V2 levels increase risk of failure until manufacturers get aligned with the definitions.

What are the benefits/opportunities of these changes?

With the fully automated test tool, we direct towards the following:

  1. Testing efficiency will be improved greatly (less time to be involved for testing compared to manual)
  2. More agile test scheduling due to flexibility the bench creates.
  3. Customer who deployed the same in-house testing solution, will be having less issues in development debug before coming to us for TA assessment. Analogue test bench used by the Lab can also be obtained by the vendor.

How can UL help?

UL is able to support device vendors with:

  • Test tool set-up consultancy - in case device vendor has obtained the new Analogue test tool for internal testing and want’s to replicate the tests that would be performed in the Lab.
  • Debug testing - in case device vendor needs to check whether the product passes the tests in accordance with the new requirements
  • Type Approval testing - formal EMVCo Level 1 contactless certification in accordance with the newly updated requirements.