European Unix Platform (EUP): An introduction to smartcards on Linux
Oct 08, 2000, 14:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Armijn Hemel)
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"In this short article we'll have a look at the world of
smartcards. First we'll determine what smartcards are in
general. After that we'll focus on one specific type of card: the
JavaCard. We'll briefly show what the capabilities of this
card are and what tools there are around to develop your own stuff
for the JavaCard. At the end I will include some links to
(Linux) smartcard resources."
"Smartcards are plastic cards (like creditcards), with a small
CPU and some memory in it. Although some people say that magnetic
swipe cards like the classical credit cards and bank cards are also
smartcards, we don't (the last few years most credit cards and bank
cards also got a CPU on it, therefor making it a smartcard.
Confusing eh?). A smartcard must contain a CPU Apart from a CPU
there's also a small amount of RAM included, varying from 4k to 64
k (yes, that's kilobytes)."
"The JavaCard is a special type of smartcard: it contains a
small embedded Java Virtual Machine. This Virtual Machine allows to
run small Java programs on the card. It will require to limit the
size of your Java bytecode though. When I learnt about these cards
I also wondered how to fit a Java program in just 16k or 64k of
RAM. Java has got a reputation for being memory hungry."