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6.2 Billion GlobalPlatform-Compliant Secure Elements Deployed in 2018

Wide adoption of specifications enables standardized security and effective device and service lifecycle management

19 November 2019 - GlobalPlatform, the standard for secure digital services and devices, conservatively calculates that more than 6.2 billion Secure Elements (SEs) were based on its specifications in 2018. This represents an increase of over 750 million from the previous year, and takes the total amount of deployed SEs based on GlobalPlatform technology since 2010 to over 35 billion. These GlobalPlatform-compliant SEs are deployed in a range of form factors – including smart cards, SIM cards and USB tokens – to protect data and devices across sectors including payments, telecoms, transportation, automotive, government, enterprise ID and healthcare.

“The need for standardized security is pivotal for cybersecurity and new IoT use cases are arising all the time,” comments GlobalPlatform Technical Director, Gil Bernabeu. “A wide variety of devices, sensors and actuators are being brought online, all of which require trust at their core. Due to this massive deployment, SEs enable the most affordable root of trust solution in the market with high security storage, execution and communication of device and user data both within devices and to cloud services.”

SEs provide a tamper-resistant physical platform within a connected device, which are an evolution of the traditional chip that resides in smart cards. GlobalPlatform protects digital services by standardizing and certifying a security hardware / firmware combination, known as a secure component, which acts as an on-device trust anchor. One focus of GlobalPlatform’s work is the standardization and interoperability of application management within secure components, specifically SE and Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technologies. SE and TEE technologies are now widely-deployed across a range of devices such as smartphones, tablets, set top boxes, wearables, connected cars, and other internet of things (IoT) devices.

Executive Director of GlobalPlatform, Kevin Gillick, adds: “With the explosive growth of the IoT set to continue for years to come, the threats to connected devices will become ever more entwined with personal privacy, increasing the need for certified device security. We’re going to see continued evolution and adoption of SEs as we build towards a more trustworthy digital future.”

GlobalPlatform develops and maintains functional and security certification programs to promote collaborative and open ecosystems where digital services and devices can be trusted. Certifying secure components within devices is essential in facilitating collaboration between service providers and device manufacturers, and building and maintaining trust with end-users.

To learn more about SEs, read GlobalPlatform’s ‘Introduction to Secure Elements’ guide. To find out about GlobalPlatform and how to contribute to its work visit

GlobalPlatform’s estimations are based on EuroSmart’s SE shipment figures for 2010-2018 published in May 2019.

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