Java Card Forum

The Java Card Forum is an industry association of companies from the smart card, secure operating system and secure silicon industry, working together to promote and develop Java as the preferred programming language for multi-application smart cards, secure devices and other execution environments.


Why STMicroelectronics and G+D Mobile Security have chosen Java Card technology for their In-Vehicle system-on-chip solution for Secure Car Access

STMicroelectronics has announced a new platform to accelerate the introduction of digital car keys giving consumers keyless access to vehicles via their mobile device.

In addition to strengthening security, digital car keys can deliver greater owner conveniences, including customizable usage privileges while continuing to secure the vehicle. Activities such as car sharing, fleet management, and vehicle rental gain benefits such as easier key issuance, usage controls, and access for valeting and servicing.

Based on the most recent ST Automotive grade Secure Element hardware, the global solution, developed in collaboration with Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), supports the latest Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) Digital Key release 3.0 standard, ensuring the highest security and protection currently available.

Leading automotive brands can now quickly build standards-based, secure car-access solutions that deliver added value for vehicle owners and users,” said Laurent Degauque, Marketing Director, Secure Microcontrollers, STMicroelectronics. “Our solution based on automotive Grade embedded secure element ensures state-of-the-art protection to lead widespread market adoption of digital keys for connected cars.”

“As a long-standing partner in security and connectivity for the automotive sector, G+D contributes a wealth of experience in the field of access control for cars”, says Mario Feuerer, Global Vice President Product Management Connectivity at G+D.“Our G+D Digital Key® application, based on the new ST chip platform, is highly resistant to attacks and features smart and convenient customer access solutions based on NFC, Ultra-Wide-Band and BLE.”

ST’s STSAFE-VJ100-CCC in-vehicle system-on-chip solution is based on CC EAL6+ certified, automotive-grade 2 ST33K-A secure IC, integrating Java Card applications. The SoC stores credentials and other sensitive information, and performs cryptographic operations required to implement CCC Digital Key Release 3 use cases like owner pairing, key sharing, key termination/deletion. This provides a robust foundation for customers to build their digital car-key solutions.

More about ST’s digital car access systems can be found here.

More about G+D’s digital car key solutions can be found here.


JCF President shares his insights into the success of Java Card over the last 25 years & plans for the future

A lot has been achieved over 25 years and Java Card is the leading platform for secure elements with billions of devices issued each year. Why do you think Java Card has been so successful?

What brought Java Card to the fore in the late 90s is interoperability of the applications running on the smart cards, at a time where interoperability was a pain point for SIM cards, as well as a means to install and host several applications concurrently, even post issuance.  Moreover, Java Card offered a strong, secure environment for applications, and Java Card was quickly able to address major markets where the highest possible level of security is required, such as SIM cards, payment cards, passports or identity cards. All this was recognised rapidly by the market, and the number of Java Cards in 2004, seven years after the Java Card Forum was created, was already reaching a billion smart cards per year. 

There are several major benefits of Java Card:

  • Application interoperability, with one single solution in terms of coding, testing, certification and executing on different vendor platforms 
  • Hardware independence, with the ability to support any type of secure element, such as removable smart cards, embedded secure elements or integrated, so that vendors can reuse the sample Java Card platform for different markets and products 
  • Market segment independence, as the same Java Card platform can be deployed to host payment, identity, telecommunications or IoT applications
  • Perfect fit for secure element requirements, in terms of security, footprint, or performance
    • Recognition and very close alignment with the technology evolution and standardisation in various major standard organisations referencing Java Card
    • A high degree of backward compatibility of the specifications – continuity of product portfolios

How was the Java Card Forum instrumental for the success of Java Card?

Early on, the pioneers of Java Card realised that this technology was a major shift that required standardisation to ensure interoperability. They decided to join efforts within a newly created Java Card Forum and provide recommendations to the owner of the Java language – at that time Sun – for the maintenance and evolution of the Java Card technology. 

The Java Card Forum is the key place and indispensable environment where Java Card technology is defined and developed, through constant interaction between Java Card vendors and Oracle (owner of the specification and Java Card technology). 

The Java Card Forum is an open Forum where recommendations are discussed to influence the future features of Java Card and shape the evolution of Java Card, making it the major platform for smart cards.

What is the outlook of Java Card from a Java Card Forum perspective?  

We see some evolution on two major levels, due to the increasing demand for security solutions. 

Some traditional applications, such as the SIM cards, payment cards or identity cards, although present with a bright future, are also increasingly being deployed onto the mobile phone or wearable devices, such as connected watches. In these devices, Java Card is now running on the soldered embedded secure element, or even integrated onto the system-on-chip. This motivates us to work on new features, such as new communications channels and protocols, improved power management with, for example, the support of suspend and resume, as well as new memory management capabilities or the ability to communicate with sensors, such as fingerprint readers, directly from the Java Card applet.

Moreover, we see new applications that can benefit from Java Card’s unique features, for example, Internet-of-Things devices or gateways, which are bound to rise exponentially with 5G and massive IoT. Here again, efficient power management, communication with external sensors, as well as lightweight cryptographic or communication protocols with the cloud, is key.

In addition, cryptographic agility is also a big item on the Java Card Forum agenda, initially to address the support of post-quantum cryptography, but more generally to make sure the security can be updated post-issuance should the need arise.

If companies are interested in joining the Java Card Forum, how would they go about it?

The Java Card Forum is an open Forum and there is only one condition – that you have to be an Oracle licencee. Then you can apply for membership and help shape the future of Java Card. We look forward to welcoming you. [Find out more about membership here.]

You can see this interview in video format below:


Why Infineon have Java Card technology at the heart of their SECORA™ ID solution

Java Card accelerates regional ID Integration – whatever the requirements

SECORA™ ID is a new member of Infineon’s SECORA™ family based on SECORA™ Pay. It supports, in addition to SECORA™ Pay, all the features necessary to serve typical ID use cases. Typical ID applications are standardized to a high extent.

Identification is mostly based on the ICAO 9303, which defines the MRTD (machine readable travel document). This standard, primarily developed for electronic passports (ePP), is also used for National electronic ID (NeID) cards and a variation for the electronic Driving License (eDL). Authentication needed for applications such as NeID or electronic health cards is predominately based on ISO and CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standards, as well as newer standards such as FIDO.

However, every country has its own system and solution based on national requirements and applications. It is these scenarios that demonstrate the benefits from developing with Java Card technology. Java Card based technology provides a high flexibility to support various use cases and interfaces. The open platform allows the user to implement their own applet through the use of sophisticated tools from Infineon. Additionally, the customer can use a ready-to-go solution, comprising of applets for eGovernment applications.

Performance and security are key for governmental applications. SECORA™ ID is secured by a security controller based on high-speed 100MHz CPU technology, equipped with state-of- the-art security features. Both the hardware and SECORA™ ID are certified on highest security levels CC EAL 6+ and EMVCo based on the Java Card protection profile.

Find out more:  https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/security-smart-card-solutions/secora-security-solutions/secora-id-security-solutions/


Luca Di Cosmo is announced as the third Annual “Bertrand” Award Winner during Java Card Forum’s Autumn Plenary

Luca Di Cosmo is recognised by his peers for his exceptional contribution to Forum’s work

To celebrate the work of Bertrand du Castel (one of the Founder members of the JCF who sadly passed away in February 2019), the Java Card Forum (JCF) has worked with his family to initiate an Annual Award in his memory: The “Bertrand”. The JCF was keen to showcase the “Bertrand” as a visible recognition of the continued drive and dedication still shown by its Members, more than 24 years since its inception.

Each year the Business and Technical Committee Chairs nominate up to four Members who have made a significant contribution to the Forum and voting is then open to each individual JCF participant. This year’s nominees were Luca Di Cosmo (Technical Committee) from ST, Alexandre Frey (Technical Com-mittee) from NXP, Werner Ness (Business Committee) from G+D and Michele Scarlatella (Business Committee) from ST – all strong candidates for the Award. Although the Autumn Plenary was held virtually, Members were present online to congratulate Luca Di Cosmo on his win and Ettore Toscano, ST’s Business Committee representative, presented Luca with the Award in person.

Luca Di Cosmo (right) receiving the Award from Ettore Toscano (left)

“Luca is a well-deserved winner,” said Jean-Daniel Aussel, President of the JCF. “Luca is a long-standing contributor to the Java Card Forum’s Technical Committee, demonstrating extensive industry experience and specification knowledge. Thanks to his background, dedication, and common-sense approach to feasibility, the discussions within the Technical Committee are both lively and fruitful. We are delighted to finally have the opportunity to thank him more formally for all of his hard work and dedication.”

“I’m surprised and delighted to win this Award,” declared Luca Di Cosmo. “I’ve been part of the JCF for over 15 years, which has helped to strengthen my knowledge and expertise in the field of Java Card technology and has allowed me to actively contribute to the evolution of the specification. It’s wonderful to know that the effort I’ve put into the JCF has been recognised in this way and I feel honoured that JCF colleagues have voted for me.”


Scalability, integration & interoperability: why STMicroelectronics uses Java Card technology to deploy secure solutions

Many market segments are witnessing growing security concerns and challenges associated with the design of effective, application-specific security, while still ensuring fast time to market.

A flexible, efficient, and secure platform, Java Card is a pervasive technology that can address multiple use cases on a single device, help device makers reach the highest security levels, and simplify security certifications. It offers a framework that hosts and manages already-approved components and third-party applets at any time in the product lifecycle.

As it is instrumental to meet customer security needs, the majority of ST’s secure microcontrollers STSECURE are based on Java Card and cover a wide range of applications, from mobile, banking, identification and transport, to secure solutions for M2M, automotive applications and connected devices. ST’s Java Card-based solutions are highly appreciated and often preferred by customers, standardization bodies and de facto standard committees.

Java Card is at the heart of many embedded architectures, allowing ST customers to overcome the challenges of deploying secure applications and fostering the deployment of secure solutions around the world.

Find out more about STSECURE


Former JCF President is recognised with a “Bertrand” Award

Volker Gerstenberger is recognised in 2020 by his peers for his exceptional contribution to Forum’s work

Picture: Volker Gerstenberger (left) receiving his “Bertrand” Award from Werner Ness (right)

Munich, 21st June 2021 – To celebrate the work of Bertrand du Castel (one of the Founder members of the JCF), who sadly passed away in February 2019, the Java Card Forum (JCF) has worked with his family to initiate an Annual Award in his memory: The “Bertrand”. The JCF was keen to showcase the “Bertrand” as a visible recognition of the continued drive and dedication still shown by its Members, more than 20 years since its inception.

The “Bertrand” has become a much-anticipated activity in the Forum’s calendar and in 2020, only 1 nominee was put forward; Volker Gerstenberger, the former JCF Business Committee Chairman and President who left his role in March of that year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have been unable to present the Award in person before now, so we are delighted that Werner Ness (G+D Mobile Security Business Committee Member of the JCF) could finally hand over the “Bertrand” in Munich today.

Each year the Business and Technical Committee Chairs nominate a maximum of 4 Members who have made a significant contribution to the Forum and voting is then open to each individual JCF participant. Nominees must demonstrate one or more of the following attributes:
• A major contribution to the current Java Card specification
(e.g. use case proposal(s), solution(s) for identified issue(s))
• A significant contribution to future Java Card specifications
(e.g. use case proposal(s), potential new feature(s), solution(s) for identified issue(s))
• A major contribution to the advancement of the usage of Java Card technology, either within traditional or new markets
The Winner is then announced at each Autumn Plenary meeting.

“Volker is a well-deserved winner,” said Jean-Daniel Aussel, current Business Committee Chairman and President of the JCF. “He played a pivotal role in motivating the Forum over the last few years; from the successful finalisation of the Java Card 3.1 specification recommendations to producing key marketing deliverables, so we felt he was the natural candidate to nominate. We are delighted to finally have the opportunity to thank him more formally for all of his hard work and dedication.”

“I’m surprised and delighted to win this Award,” declared Volker Gerstenberger, “and feel honoured that my colleagues nominated and voted for me. It’s wonderful to know that my time spent in the Forum is still appreciated by my peers to this day.”


Why IDEMIA are using Java Card technology for their Digital Car Key solution

Smartphones have become the central object of people’s daily lives. Rare are those who forget them, even for short errands. Therefore, it makes sense for smartphone manufacturers and carmakers to work together to gradually replace car keys.

Smartphones will be at the center of the progress towards hands-free car access and ignition. Thanks to their communication abilities, Bluetooth, NFC, integration of UWB (Ultra Wide Band for precise location) technology, and their capability to secure exchanges, smartphones appear to be the easiest and safest solution.

These Digital Car Keys are highly secure. They cannot be duplicated since they are unique to each user and connect wirelessly to the car through integrated sensors. They can also be secured by exchanging authentication certificates over the network. In case of theft or loss, the key function or the smartphone itself can be remotely deactivated.

The application part of the Digital Car Key solution running on the Smart Card (UICC) in the mobile phone has been implemented in Java Card technology, as Java Card is providing the interoperability to easily load this applet onto UICCs from different manufacturers. The UICCs in mobile phones will come from different UICC suppliers and thus Java Card was the platform of choice to avoid the need for developing device specific applets. This way, the car manufacturer can rely on the fact that his applet will run on any mobile device.

Find out more:

Background to Digital Car Keys: https://www.idemia.com/key-unlock-and-start-your-car-bit-backstory-about-car-keys

Digital Car Key solutions: https://www.idemia.com/digital-car-keys