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Smartcard Operating Systems

Today, there are two major platforms on offer for smartcard issuers:


Although Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards (WFSC) had a very strong initial impact, it was hampered by early performance and architectural problems. Microsoft now does not directly support this product and it's future in unclear.

A Comparative Study of the Major Smartcard Platforms MULTOS / Javacard
Dr Brian McKeon Smartcard Technologies Group - 5 November 2001

The Java card enables smart cards and other devices with very limited memory to run small applications, called applets, that employ Java technology. This is widely seen as an all-in-one biometrics card.

The U.S. Marines, along with the CIA and FBI are said to use this card technology for security reasons.

The major advantage of Javacard is the promise of Java in a smartcard. The Java language opens the door to a large population of software developers, which are not available to MULTOS MEL application development.

However, recently C compilers have been released for MULTOS. This now allows software developers access to further develop applications, which will enhance market acceptance for MULTOS as the language of choice for secure multi-application smartcards.


G & D Operating Systems


Multifunctional smart card operating system

STARCOS® is a scaleable, general purpose, and state-of-the-art smart card operating system. Using the STARCOS® toolkit, applications can be generated without programming and source code implementations. STARCOS® is a platform for customer-specific functions and applications. They can be easily implemented in the EEPROM without changing the ROM mask. It also supports both symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic techniques.

The number of applications that can be loaded is only limited by the amount of EEPROM available. Registration, creation, and loading of data for an application can be performed independently with predefined security levels. The application designer is responsible for the definition of the security level and structure of his own application.


STARCOS® 3.0 features a well designed security concept that enables numerous applications to be stored on a single card completely separately from one another. Of particular interest to application developers is the ability to establish different security levels and assign them to individual applications on a single card. This ideal solution for high-end smart cards with multifunctional properties allows for the implementation of even the most individual customer requirements.

Sm@rtCafé® JavaTM - The Java™-based smart card

The Sm@rtCafé® Expert 64 from G&D is a future-proof concept. Thanks to the Java™ card operating system, it has several advantages over conventional smart cards. In practice, this means simplified implementation and economical operation with maximum flexibility and security.

There already exist a great number of proven and cost-effective infrastructures for JavaTM cards, and Sm@rtCafé® Expert 64 can be perfectly integrated into them. Java™ cards from G&D help you get your card system up and running quickly.

SICRYPT® Secure Token Platform for Public Key Cryptography v 2.1 v 2.3

The interface specification is a technical reference manual in PDF for the SICRYPT® operating system on ISO 7816 - 4 level. This means the file system and all APDUs are described on a T=1 basis.

Infineon SICRYPT® Secure Token Platform Smart Card Software Development Kit (SDK)

The SICRYPT® Software Development Kit (SDK) enables a Microsoft® Windows® programmer to develop a PC application which utilizes the SICRYPT® operating system on the security controller. The communication between the PC application and the SICRYPT® operating system is established via PC/SC architecture.

The SDK on one hand shows the usage of specified commands (ISO 7816 - 4 and proprietary commands) and on the other hand helps in the creation of new files and file structures on the card. The SDK demonstrates the usage of the available APIs together with code samples (mainly C++ but also Visual Basic) all based on the smart card services that are part of the operating system. Therefore, a rapid integration of the SICRYPT® Secure Token Platform into any aware application is achieved.

Smart Card Software Development Kit (SDK), (based on the "smart card service provider" for the SICRYPT® secure token platform), provides additional background information on the platform, supplies clear trace samples for several scenarios (e.g. challenge - response authentication, creation of files and directories) related to token based security application development.

The Infineon SICRYPT® Secure Token Platform has been developed for easy adaptation to your specifications due to a dynamic and logical memory and file management system using directories and sub-directories according to ISO. The compliance with the ISO 7816-4 standard makes SICRYPT® the ideal platform for managing several applications on a single secure platform. The SDK contains a complete and typical explanatory application for bonus points / loyalty and canteen payment.

The cryptographic algorithms supported by the Infineon SICRYPT® Secure Token Platform are:

* DES 
* TripleDES (with DoubleDES key length)
* RSA (1024 bit, key generation on board)
* SHA-1
* SCA-85

Available from United Access, with more support from SICRYPT and Infineon

Web www.smartcardscanada.com