Palo Alto, CA--March 27, 1997--Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) announced its support of a joint Consumer Electronics/PC industry initiative designed to unite converging home theater and computer technologies.
The initiative will establish open interoperability standards. These standards will help manufacturers develop converging products serving a variety of consumer needs including entertainment, education, secure transactions and communications, research, and data processing.
As a result, new products will require more powerful consumer electronics devices which are able to connect with or drive a variety of components ranging from personal computers and disk drives to players and telephones. Such connections are necessary to create an environment of total immersion and interactivity.
As a first step, the company has established a new unit, the Philips Digital Entertainment Group, to develop and market products based on converging digital technologies. Based in Palo Alto, CA, the group will launch new, convergence-oriented products designed to meet the needs of an increasingly digital world.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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San Francisco, CA--March 26, 1997--IBM Corp., Netscape Communications Corp., Oracle's NCI, and Sun Microsystems Inc. announced the OpenCard Framework, the first smart card standard enabling access to personalized data and services from any network computer. The OpenCard Framework builds upon the Network Computer Reference Profile, announced last May, to enable interoperability in the emerging network computer industry.
The OpenCard Framework will enable mobile users to roam freely with their smart cards. With a smart card, network computer users are authorized to access network-based information, databases, and services such as electronic mail, Internet applications, and electronic commerce. The OpenCard Framework is the enabling technology that will make these services accessible from any network computer. The OpenCard framework dynamically downloads from the Internet all device drivers that are necessary to communicate with the smart card. By providing a high-level interface which can support multiple smart card types, the OpenCard Framework enables vendor-independent card interoperability.
Smart cards store a card holder's personal information in its small, highly secure silicon chip. After inserting his smart card into a network computer, a personal identification number is used to identify and authenticate the card holder. Like a bank ATM card, a smart card identifies each user to the network, eliminating the need to remember complex connect strings, phone numbers, and other networking information. Once authorized, the user has access to applications, information, and services from the network.
The OpenCard Framework incorporates PKCS-11 and is expandable to include other public key mechanisms. PKCS-11 is a public key industry standard for cryptographic tokens, such as smart cards. It enables security through strong user authentication, and supports digital signatures. The framework resides on the network computer and will function with a variety of smart card drivers required in applications, such as electronic commerce.
The OpenCard Framework supports the Java platform which allows application developers to write applications once and have them run on any OpenCard-compliant network computer. The OpenCard Framework, which is specific to network computing platforms, also interfaces with Sun Microsystems' Java Card API.
The framework also supports native network computer operating systems. The OpenCard Framework is supported by NCI's NC Access, future versions of Netscape's Communicator, Lotus's NC Desktop, and Sun Microsystems' JavaStation Software Environment.
Smart card vendors such as Gemplus have been involved in defining the OpenCard framework and are working ensure compatibility among smart cards and network computers.
More information about the OpenCard Framework is available for public review beginning noon (PST) on March 27, by accessing http://www.nc.com/opencard.
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