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GlobalPlatform & Sun Microsystems Collaborate on Next Generation Java Card Technology

New GlobalPlatform Card and Java Card Specifications to Fuel Contactless Java Card™ Application Development

November 15, 2005: GlobalPlatform, the global leader in smart card infrastructure development and deployment, and Sun Microsystems, the creator and leading advocate of Java™ technology, today announced the establishment of complementary technical specifications designed to fuel the next generation of Java Card™ development. The complementary industry standard specifications have a common focus on contactless applications – a significant area of market growth for smart cards.

GlobalPlatform and Sun Microsystems have an alliance to ensure their respective specifications are compatible.

Bob Beer, GlobalPlatform Chairman, comments: “The GlobalPlatform Card Specification v2.2 supports dual-interface contact/contactless smart cards and supports the functionality delivered by Java Card 2.2.2. It facilitates the development of secure and interoperable smart card services, providing better performance and allowing even more products and services to be available from multiple vendors, on one card. For the card issuer, it will open up collaborations with other industry sectors, such as transportation. While for the consumer, they will enjoy the convenience of hands-free applications, additional security and the ability to utilize multiple services using one device.”

“Since 2002, Sun and GlobalPlatform have been working closely together to align their respective smart card technical specifications,” said Alan Brenner, Vice President, Sun Client Systems Group. “With the steady growth we're seeing in the contactless markets, it is critical that these specifications are enhanced to keep pace with the steady cadence of innovation that customers expect.”

The next generation GlobalPlatform Card Specification explicitly defines how contactless cards, chip and card reader, communicate through wireless self-powered induction technology, and the relevant architecture required to support them in a multi-application environment. The Specification supports dual interface contact/contactless cards explaining how to load and manage applications in both environments.

Smart card issuers within the payment, government / identity, and transit sectors will be particularly interested by the clarity that has been established by GlobalPlatform to create a standardized dual-interface for contactless implementations based on the new Java technology. Ease of use, ability to replace cash, operational efficiency, improved security and customer service are some of the many benefits attributed to the increasing popularity of the contactless systems, examples of which have already been successfully deployed in Asia, Europe and North America.

The next generation GlobalPlatform Card Specification has been developed to meet the growing demands of the smart card market. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) functionality has been added to the Card Specification in direct response to the increased standardization of identity authentication on multi-purpose cards. Another key adjustment, as requested by the mobile telecoms industry, is further advancements in secure communication for over-the-air (OTA) update. The full specification will be available to the market in early 2006. All GlobalPlatform Specifications are available royalty-free at

The next generation Java Card is designed to update the world-leading Java Card specifications in a number of ways, to help facilitate the development of secure and interoperable smart card services, particularly for contactless cards. New functions are designed to include enhancements for better performance and interoperability in contactless environments, new cryptographic and security features, applications program interfaces to streamline the developer experience, and further alignment with smart card standards.


For further media information, please contact Sarah Bayne or Shona Clarke at Harrison Cowley on + 44 (0) 870 606 0960 or email

Notes to Editors:
GlobalPlatform - Driven by over 50 cross-industry member organizations, GlobalPlatform is the leading, international association, focused on establishing, maintaining and driving the adoption of standards to enable an open and interoperable infrastructure for smart cards, devices and systems that simplifies and accelerates development, deployment and management of applications across industries.

These specifications are known as the standard for smart card infrastructure, thanks to their balance of technical superiority and business justification.

GlobalPlatform specifications are available royalty-free and have been adopted in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia by many public and private bodies. Current estimates for 2005 predict the number of GlobalPlatform smart cards in circulation exceeds 70 million and an additional 450 million GSM cards utilize GlobalPlatform technology for Over-The-Air application downloads.

GlobalPlatform is an independent, not-for-profit organization and its strategy is defined and prioritized by a Board of Directors. GlobalPlatform is currently chaired by Chairman Robert E. Beer, Vice President Business Development, Datacard Group.

Java Card - To date more than one billion Java Cards have been issued, including some 530 million in the last year alone. In the last two years Java Card has been recognized with Frost & Sullivan leadership awards for market share leadership, and is utilized by the world's leading telecommunications operators and top payment organizations. Enterprises around the globe rely on Java Card technology for secure digital identity. Sun is demonstrating contactless Java Card products from Gemplus, Oberthur Card Systems, Trusted Logic, Aspects and Activcard at its booth at the Cartes IT & Security 2005 conference.

Both Java Card 2.2.2 and GlobalPlatform 2.2 specifications are planned for release in 2006. Java Card 2.2.2 is available for public review at For more information on Sun Microsystems and the Java Card platform, please visit Sun at stand 4 M 086 at Cartes IT & Security 2005, or visit

About Sun Microsystems, Inc. - A singular vision -- “The Network Is The Computer™” -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at

Bob Wientzen
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Asa Fenton
Bite Communications, for Sun

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