SpringCore Operating modes

Devices based on the SpringCore firmware supports many operating modes.

To remain easy to understand by the new implementers and also by the end-users, this documentation discriminates between the main operating modes, that are listed in the table below, and fully documented in the following chapters, and a few alternate operating modes.

The alternate operating modes exist to ensure a level of compliance with earlier, legacy products. They shall not be used for new development, and are out of the scope of this book. Yet, a few pages are likely to mention them.

Mode Explanation
PC/SC Coupler The device is a complete smart card coupler: it can perform any transaction with a smart card, under full control of an application running in the host computer.
The smart card may be either contact or contactless (NFC/RFID) depending on only on its hardware interface, but operated the same way seen from the software interface.

A PC/SC device is typically associated to a PC/SC driver and is supported by the computer’s PC/SC stack.
Yet, some operating systems do not feature a PC/SC stack and some communication interfaces are not suitable to support a PC/SC driver. In these cases, the device provides a custom protocol to mimic a PC/SC implementation; the term “PC/SC-like” is used to describe such protocols.
Working with a SpringCore device using the PC/SC Coupler mode is detailed in chapter PC/SC Operation.
Smart Reader The device is an autonomous or NFC/RFID reader.
It automatically grabs a token from a contactless cards, NFC tags or RFID labels, before transmitting it to the host.
This simplifies the development of the host application, because the SpringCore device runs the transaction with the card, tag or label in a standalone-reader approach.
This also makes it possible to use a fast anticollision/inventory scheme, overriding the bottleneck introduced by a slow computer-based transaction or a too complex driver stack.
Working with a device in Smart Reader mode is detailed in chapter Smart Reader Operation.
Smart Reader with keyboard emulation
(RFID Scanner)
The device is an autonomous NFC/RFID reader (see above).
Instead of transferring the read token to a specific host application, it simulates key-strokes as if the data was entered by the user on the keyboard.
Doing so, any application that has the focus is able to receive the data.
Working with a device in RFID Scanner mode is detailed in chapter RFID Scanner Operation.