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Is ST8024/34 compulsory for interfacing secure modules like STSAFE-J100 to STM32F072 controller?

Question asked by Ajinkya Karandikar on Jan 9, 2018

I am working on a project that involves interfacing secure module(s) like STSAFE-J100 to a micro-controller over ISO7816 interface.

For this my team has selected STM32F072C8 controller which has USART-ISO7816 support.

The secure module (like STSAFE-J100) have VQFN32 package and hence will be permanently soldered on the board(no hot plugin connection). So no human intervention once installed (i.e. no ESD protection needed).

Also, it has the same operational voltage 3 to 3.3V (class B) as that of the selected micro-controller.

We have limited board size and cost.

Do we really require ST8024/34 interface IC between the controller and the secure module chip?

If yes then what is the advantage of selecting a controller with USART-ISO7816 support?