Gemplus today announced that it has established a research and development center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The center will focus on the development of smart card operating systems and support the implementation of smart card applications for customers in North and South America. It will also develop new technologies designated by Gemplus’ Technology Innovation Center in San Mateo, Ca.
Over the next three years, Gemplus will invest some $20 million in smart card research and development in the Americas, and expects to employ as many as 100 professionals from science, research and engineering at the new center. Gemplus also has R&D centers in France and Singapore.
“Establishing an R&D center for the Americas will enable Gemplus to be much closer to the evolution of new technologies such as the Internet. As a result, we will be able to better adapt new smart card products such as the Java Card to the local market,” said Guy Dartigues, director of the Americas Development Center. “We believe that proximity to these developments will greatly enhance our creativity and efficiency, and result in better support to existing partners and the creation of new partnerships.”
“This is a major investment by Gemplus and reflects our belief in and commitment to the widespread adoption of smart card technology in the Americas,” said Brigitte Baumann, president of Gemplus Corporation (U.S. and Canada).
In 1996, Gemplus invested 6% of its total smart card related sales in R&D, a level of spending it has maintained for several years. Since the company’s founding, R&D has played a central role in the Gemplus’ success. It has been responsible for innovations that include the introduction in 1988 of COS (chip operating system), in 1994, of MPCOS (multiple payment chip operating system), and more recently, of GPK2000, the first public key smart card.
Recent R&D efforts have focused on using smart card technology and cryptography to protect data communicated over open networks; second generation contactless cards; hardware miniaturization (including PCMCIA smart card interfaces and the GemCore chip set); and extended SMS (short message service) technology that allows remote programming of smart cards and readers for different kinds of smart card applications including Internet, healthcare, gaming, transportation and secure database access.
Gemplus is the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. It manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions. In 1996, Gemplus Group’s total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.
Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: .Details