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A Thing

Honey, I shrunk the terminal

Product: Vx 570
Company: VeriFone

New models of countertop payment terminals are reaping the benefits of Moore's Law, which decades ago predicted a doubling of processor power every 18 months. They're also enjoying the fruits of microprocessor miniaturization. Case in point: VeriFone's newest, highly compact terminals are bushwhacking transaction time.

Sporting a faster processor than previous models, the Vx 570 terminal provides a logical migration path for users of the VeriFone Omni 3750. The new unit also has more memory, an enhanced anti-glare display, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption and a USB port.

The communications module can be configured initially for a dial-up connection or a combination of dial-up and Ethernet. It also can be switched to Ethernet at a later date. Merchants already equipped with broadband can immediately process payments through this always-on connection.

The unit was designed to ensure that channel partners can smoothly shift merchants who want to continue using their existing Omni 3750 applications, while getting a performance boost from a speedier model that provides greater flexibility in the number and type of applications it handles.

The Vx 570 is powered by a 200 megahertz ARM9 32-bit reduced instruction set computing microprocessor, which can be manufactured using a 0.13 micron process (or greater).

Memory includes four MB of Flash and two MB of SRAM, with an option for 12 MB of total memory. That is triple the maximum memory of the previous model.

Other features include:

  • 128 x 64 pixel white backlit LCD display, supporting 8 lines x 21 characters
  • Triple-track bi-directional magnetic card reader
  • 3 x 4 numeric keypad, plus eight soft-function keys and four screen-addressable keys
  • Integrated thermal printer
  • SAM card reader (one or three modules optional)
  • 14.4 kilobits-per-second modem
  • Standard paper roll 58 millimeters x 25 meters
  • Optional larger paper roll 35 meters long

The new model adopts recent security measures, such as end-to-end SSL encryption and VeriShield file authentication; Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard PIN entry device approved by Visa and MasterCard for debit and other PIN-based transactions; and EMV level 1- and level 2-type approval.

Application separation at the hardware and software levels reportedly minimizes the need to recertify existing payment applications every time an application is added or modified. Third-party applications can coexist securely.

The unit still weighs just 1.65 pounds. Someday when ARM processors reach the nanometer zone (below 0.10 micron process), Vx units won't lose much weight, but oh, the places they'll go.


Article published in issue number 060601

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