JCF celebrates 20-year anniversary


The Java Card Forum (JCF) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017.

According to the JCF, a small group of smart card companies came together to establish the Java Card Forum in 1997 to provide recommendations to Sun Microsystems for the Java Card specification, to enhance the platform so it met the needs of the smart security industry. This led to the publication by Sun (and later, Oracle) of several releases of the Java Card specification, effectively delivering Java Card technology's promise of interoperability, security and multi-application support to the telecoms, IT security and financial services industries.

The JCF claims that there are around 20 billion Java technology-based smart cards now deployed and that the Java Card Platform is the most used IT platform in the world.

The organisation says: “The close collaboration of the original members is testament to their belief in the possibilities of this new platform, and with the focus firmly on the telecoms market, the standardisation of a SIM toolkit soon led to mass deployment of the technology. Other markets soon beckoned, and the JCF continued to work with Oracle on developing and enhancing the specification, with the release of Java Card version 3.0 in 2008 as a response to the growing importance of smart, secure and portable devices in a convergent world. Java Card technology was seen as a key building block for the next wave of secure digital services such as mobile payment, identity, ticketing, M2M applications and many others. And with the emergence of secure elements, the Java Card platform could move beyond the standard smart card environment to a variety of different form factors.”

Volker Gerstenberger, president, JCF, says: “Java Card technology has always been a highly secure execution platform for innovative services: be it for SIM-based services in the telecommunications area, smart payment services in the banking and financial service area, or for providing a secure environment for identity-use cases such as passports, identity and health documents.This still holds true for today’s scenarios. There are a variety of use-cases for the platform and not all of them are card based.”

He adds: “What is important to understand, though, is how relevant Java Card technology remains today. With the advent of the age of the Internet of Things, we are seeing more and more connected endpoint devices that need to be secured. We see additional new networks, such as Narrow-Band IoT, for example, that have to be protected and we are seeing the emergence of a variety of completely new and unforeseen services that need to be enabled from both a user experience perspective and, more importantly, from a security perspective.

“We are now working on the next version of the Java Card specification, with the clear objective to address the IoT security challenges. By this I mean new features supporting integration into IoT devices and new types of communication protocols, and therefore becoming the new security powerhouse for IoT.”


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JCF celebrates 20-year anniversary
JCF celebrates 20-year anniversary

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