The nPA (neuer Personalausweis) is a contactless electronic smart card ID that provides German citizens security for online identity and transactions, such as e-government, online shopping and online banking. ACS's ACR1281U nPA contactless reader is one of the world’s earliest nPA scheme-qualified readers that supports contactless extended APDU (Application Protocol Data Unit) command.

The ACR1281U nPA contactless reader can access virtually any contactless smart cards following ISO 14443 standard. With its MCU's high processing speed and good antenna performance, it is ready for high speed and highly demanding applications, such as government qualifications including Germany's BSI (Federal Office for Information Security) certificate.

The support for contactless extended APDU command makes the processing of large data in a much shorter period of time using ACR1281U nPA contactless reader than similar readers. Hence, ACR1281U nPA contactless reader is suitable for highly secure Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) algorithms, such as digital signatures on official documents utilizing 2,048 bits or 4,096 bits RSA keys; as well as the reading and writing of large files, such as photos and fingerprint images. At such speeds, users are able to experience the total satisfaction of utilizing contactless card technology.

USB connectivity of the ACR1281U nPA contactless reader securely connects the contactless smart cards, such as the new Germany nPA e-ID cards, to any PC running on Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems. With a secure firmware upgrade capability, the reader is forward compatible with new card or functionality requirements.

Following its certification, ACR1281U nPA contactless reader can now be readily deployed by government authorities, companies and other institutions for citizens to assess this nPA electronic ID card system, implemented by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior.

PC-Linked USB Contactless Reader Firmware Upgradeable
  • Germany BSI compliant
  • CCID Compliant
  • PC/SC Compliant
  • Read/write speed up to 848kbps
  • Supports major Contactless smart cards technologies such as ISO14443 Type A and B and Mifare series
  • Card operating distance of up to 50 mm
  • German eID card operating distance of up to 40 mm (eID card requirement)
  • Support contactless extended APDU commands
  • Firmware Upgradable
  • USB Full Speed (12 Mbps)
  • Support contactless memory cards such as SRI(X)4k cards (Upon request)
  • In-device AES / 3DES encryption algorithm (Upon request)
Dimensions 120.5 mm (L) x 72 mm (W) x 20.4 mm (H)
Weight 150g
Compliance / Certifications Germany nPA certified, PC/SC, CCID, CE, FCC, RoHS Compliant, Microsoft WHQL: 2000, XP, Vista, 7
Interface USB 2.0 Full Speed
Operating Distance Up to 50 mm (depends on the tag type)
Supply Voltage Regulated 5 V DC
Supply Current 200mA (max); 100mA (normal)
Operating Temperature 0-50°C
Humidity 10 - 80 %
Operating Frequency 13.56MHz
Smart Card Interface Support
  • ISO14443 T=CL for ISO 14443 A & B Parts 1-4 compliant cards and T=CL Emulation for MIFARE series, NFC reader mode
  • Extended APDU support
  • Memory card support is made upon request
Operating System Support
  • Win 2000, Win 2003, Win 2003 R2, Win XP, Win Vista, Win 2008, Win 7
  • Win 2003 x64, Win XP x64, Win Vista x64, Win 2008 x64, Win 2008 R2 x64, Win 7 x64
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Android™ 3.1 and above
Drivers for ACR1281U OS Support
USB Interface
MSI Installer for PC/SC Driver  5 MB
Version 4.2.6.1
11-Oct-2017
Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows® 8.1, Windows® 10, Windows® Server 2003, Windows® Server 2008, Windows® Server 2008 R2, Windows® Server 2012, Windows® Server 2012 R2, Windows® Server 2016 R2
MSI Installer for PC/SC Driver  5 MB
Version 4.0.6.0
14-Nov-2014
Windows® 7 (for users who did not install required Microsoft Windows Updates and get driver signature error (Code 52))
PC/SC Drivers  921 KB
Version 4.2.6.0
14-Sep-2017
Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows® 8.1, Windows® 10, Windows® Server 2003, Windows® Server 2008, Windows® Server 2008 R2, Windows® Server 2012, Windows® Server 2012 R2, Windows® Server 2016 R2
PC/SC Driver Package  2 MB
Version 1.1.5
27-Oct-2017
Linux ®
PC/SC Driver Installer  251 KB
Version 1.1.5
23-Oct-2017
Mac 10.5, Mac 10.6, Mac 10.7, Mac 10.8, Mac 10.9, Mac 10.10, Mac 10.11, Mac 10.12. Mac 10.13
PC/SC Drivers  455 KB
Version 1.1.5
23-Oct-2017
Linux®, Mac OS® X
CT-API Library  2 MB
Version 1.0.1.1
23-Jan-2017
Windows® XP, Windows® Server 2003, Windows® Vista, Windows® Server 2008, Windows® Server 2008 R2, Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows 8.1, Windows® Server 2012, Windows® Server 2012 R2, Windows® 10
CT-API Library  261 KB
Version 1.0.1
23-Jan-2017
Linux®, Mac OS® X 10.5, Mac OS® X10.6, Mac OS® X10.7, Mac OS® X10.8, Mac OS® X10.9
Android EVK  472 KB
Version 1.1.3
31-Mar-2016
Android 3.1 and above



Manuals & Datasheets for ACR1281U
Technical Specification

Technical Specification of ACR1281U nPA Contactless Reader