Gemplus and IBM Announce Cooperation on Java Card Development

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October 27 - 27 Oct 1998: . . . Gemplus and IBM today announced their intent to jointly develop smart card products based on Java* technology and to work together to further the adoption of the Java Card* platform.

As part of their cooperation, Gemplus and IBM will combine existing smart card technology from each company to create an 8-bit Java-based smart card. This product is ideal for use in banking and multi-function smart-card-based applications. The companies anticipate delivering the new smart card for use in customer pilot projects this year, with wider deployment early next year.

"We are pleased to see this significant commitment by Gemplus and IBM to accelerate the growth of Java Card-based applications," said PhilipYen, senior vice president for Emerging Technologies, Visa International. "The combined strengths of Gemplus and IBM make it possible to offer a powerful product to the issuers of Visa Open Platform smart cards. It also provides yet more choice for Visa Member banks as they choose technology partners to help them develop their multifunction smart card programs."

Combining Java technology with the smart card format will help spur the use of smart cards worldwide because the same cards are designed to be used across multiple applications with no changes. Wider availability of smart cards based on Java standards should appeal to software developers and smart card issuers such as financial institutions, telecommunications companies and corporate and campus card suppliers that are looking to deliver applications and services securely and conveniently.

"We are pleased to see products based on the Java Card platform introduced in the marketplace by IBM and Gemplus," said Patrice Peyret, director, Consumer & Embedded, Sun Microsystems. " 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' multi-application Java Card products from industry leaders like IBM and Gemplus will reduce time to market, lower development costs and accelerate the growth of the smart card market."

By working together, Gemplus and IBM expect to accelerate the deployment of interoperable smart cards based on the Java Card specification. Their joint activities build on the leadership of Gemplus in producing smart card-basedsolutionsand the leadership of IBM in delivering secure transactional applications.

"Customers will now benefit from the most comprehensive Java Card offering in the market, ranging from the best of IBM and Gemplus 8-bit smart card technology, complemented by the industry's only32-bit smart card that addresses advanced applications," said Jacques Seneca, executive vice president, Gemplus Marketing & Technologies. "We welcome this announcement as an expansion of our relationship with IBM, and our joint initiative to promote standardization and open systems will accelerate the growth of the smart card market."

Steven Houghtalen, smart card business unit executive, IBM Pervasive Computing, commented, "IBM is building on Java's strengths as an easy to use, secure network technology and extending those benefits for use in smart card applications. We look forward to working with Gemplus to expand the value of Java Card technology for our customers' e-business initiatives."

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