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ID TECH Magbar™ Decoder Chip Set for Bar Codes and Magnetic Stripes

The ID TECH MagBar Chip Set is a magnetic stripe and bar code decode chip set consisting of two main chips: the microcontroller chip and the multifunction chip. The chip set is far smaller than traditional chip sets. With a minimum of additional components, you can build a high performance and very feature rich bar code/magnetic stripe decoding subsystem. This high speed chip set has a minimum instruction time near 0.4 second minimum instruction time. The ID TECH MagBar Chip Set also uses parallel processing to offer a very quick and robust decode.

  • Size -- The standard ID TECH MagBar Chip Set package dimensions are 14.5 mm. by 13.5 mm. and 2 mm. thick (approximately 0.57" by 0.53" and 0.08") for the OKI microcontroller in a QFP package and 17.5 mm. by 17.5 mm. and 4.35 mm. thick (0.69" by 0.69" and .17" thick) for the WSI multifunction chip in a PLCC package. The basic bar code and magnetic stripe decode subsystem with support components is only about 38 mm. by 38 mm. (1.5" by 1.5") on a two layer board.
  • Magnetic Stripe Decoding -- The ID TECH MagBar Chip Set decodes single, dual and triple track magnetic stripes on credit cards and driver's licenses. The chip set supports driver's license formats accepted by the national motor vehicles standards group AAMVA and the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The encoded data can be in ANSI, ABA, IATA, or Thrift magnetic stripe format. There is an option for selecting the tracks to be read, sending or suppressing track 1 start/stop sentinels, sending the track two account number only, and an option for selecting the track separator character for multi-track readers.
  • Programmable Memory -- The ID TECH chip set uses a standard microcontroller with a programmable memory chip. This approach creates a two chip solution with rapid upgrade flexibility. Some vendors use a "Masked Microcontroller" approach, which requires at least a SRAM chip and a latch chip, therefore a three chip solution. Also, this approach requires long lead times for firmware revisions.


  • Beeper -- A good read beeper function may be added with the addition of the beeper, a diode, a transistor and a resistor.
  • LED -- A good read LED function may be added with the addition of the 3 mm. green LED, a transistor and a resistor.
  • Low Power Options -- There are lower power chip sets available. 
  • Non-Volatile Memory -- An AT93C56 EEPROM may be added for non-volatile memory to store variable configuration data. The SO-8 package is recommended.
  • Package Options -- The microcontroller chip is also available in either a 44 pin PLCC package or a 40 pin DIP package. The multifunction chip is also available in a 44 pin QFP package.

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