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July 23, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:24pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Siemens AG’s Semiconductor division is licensing Java technology from Sun Microsystems Inc to run on new smart card chips targeted at internet, banking, healthcare, e-commerce, and mobile communication applications. Siemens is tapping Sun for the Java Card set of application programming interfaces (APIs) plus Sun’s specification for making the smart card. Within that spec it is optional to implement the instruction set in either software or hardware, and Siemens is choosing the latter. It believes it will be volume production midway through next year. Siemens is not licensing any of Sun’s own work on Java processors. Siemens’ new chips will be based on the high-end Triple E line, SLE66CXXs, 16- bit cores with a bilingual instruction set, by which it means the ability to execute its 8051 binaries and Java byte code, but not simultaneously. There were no further details on the technical aspects of the development from either company yesterday. Siemens claims to have a 50% share of the silicon-for smart card marketplace, and the technology is being implemented widely in telephones, vending machines, toll booths and ticketing systems, especially in Europe. The two hope that Java’s networking and multiple application capabilities allied with low development costs and the proposed Java Card 2.0 standard (CI No 3,134) will make next generation smart cards cheaper and more widely applicable than previously. Secure Electronic Transfer (SET) standards will provide additional in-built security. Siemens is only one of several vendors targeting this market. Hewlett- Packard Co has linked up with smart card manufacturer Gemplus SA, which together with Schlumberger Ltd have about 70% of the world market between them.


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