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IBM presents world's first dual-interface OpenPlatform JavaCard™ featuring Philips Semiconductors' MIFARE® PRO

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Zurich, Switzerland, 22 Nov 1999—A technology demonstration of the world's first dual-interface OpenPlatform JavaCard™1 based on Philips Semiconductors' MIFARE® PRO chip is being shown by IBM Research - Zurich at the Cartes '99 trade fair. This card combines the ease of application development using the Java programming language with the convenience of using a dual-interface smart card, allowing access to the same card data using contact and contactless smart card readers.

The card uses Java virtual machine technology developed at IBM Research - Zurich. This advanced implementation includes support for the OpenPlatform and JavaCard™* specifications as well as enhancements to improve performance and reduce code size. A major advantage of the Java-based card is the high degree of security this technology offers, as the virtual machine checks and controls every function to be carried out and prevents direct access to the hardware. Developers can also expect solid performance from IBM JavaCard™ technology because the time-consuming basic functions such as communication, persistent storage and cryptographic operations are implemented in machine-specific assembly code. The prototype dual-interface card is designed to show how JavaCard™ technology can be used to simplify the process of creating and enhancing smart card-based applications. Moreover, by adhering to the specifications of the ISO communications protocols, IBM is demonstrating the interoperability of a dual-interface Java-based card with existing contact or contactless smart card applications.

The IBM dual-interface JavaCard™ will be employed in pilot trials where the benefits of having both communications interfaces on the same chip can be leveraged. Examples include payment systems for the Internet using inexpensive contact-based smart card terminals in PCs, transportation applications commonly using contactless readers, as well as blends of the two on the same card. In support of these objectives, Alain Sigaud, Gemplus Vice-President Solutions & Systems, Director of the JavaCard™ Group, confirms that "Gemplus is very interested in this IBM demonstration prefiguring future Gemplus GemXpresso Combicard products issued from our IBM/Gemplus cooperation on JavaCard™ technology". The implementation runs on Philips Semiconductors' MIFARE® PRO dual-interface smart card chip featuring 20 KB ROM, 256 Bytes RAM, 8 KB EEPROM, and a hardware DES coprocessor. The supported communications protocols are T=0 (ISO 7816) for contact-based operation and the drafted T=CL (ISO 14443) for contactless communications. Satisfying these low resource constraints, the IBM OpenPlatform/JavaCard™ implementation might easily be ported to more powerful chips featuring public-key cryptography, dual-interface technology, as well as smart card hardware firewalls, such as Philips Semiconductors' MIFARE® PROX.

Concerning the contactless MIFARE® interface technology: In fully compliance with ISO/IEC 14443 A, Philips Semiconductors' MIFARE® interface technology is the industry standard for contactless smart cards and is used in 85% of all contactless smart card schemes, with more than 45 million card ICs in use and more than 450,000 read/write units in operation worldwide.

IBM Research - Zurich is the European branch of IBM Research. The Zurich lab is pursuing work on communication systems, new technologies, and applied computer science, particularly in the area of secure systems, including smart cards. It is the birthplace of the IBM SmartCard for e-business, also known as the IBM JavaCard™. As a result of a cooperation agreement between IBM and Gemplus SA, the IBM JavaCard™ technology has been merged with Gemplus SA JavaCard™ technology to produce a "best of breed" JavaCard™ implementation commercialized under the brand name GemXpresso. In this product range, the GemXpresso 210PK featuring public-key cryptography capabilities is 100% IBM JavaCard™ technology.

Philips Semiconductors, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, is the eighth largest semiconductor supplier based on Dataquest's 1998 report.** Philips Semiconductors is an industry leader that has proved its reputation in the development and production of high security controller ICs and contactless smart card ICs as well as in components for radio frequency identification. Philips Semiconductors' innovations in digital audio, video and mobile technology have established the company as a leader in the consumer, multimedia and wireless communications markets. Sales offices are located in all major markets around the world and are supported by regional application labs.

*Java and JavaCard™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. MIFARE® is a registered trademark of Royal Philips Electronics.

**Based on Vendor Revenue from Shipments of Total Semiconductors Worldwide according to Dataquest's 1998 Worldwide Semiconductor Market Share report published in May, 1999.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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