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Technical Overview

GlobalPlatform identifies, develops and publishes technical specifications and market configurations which facilitate the secure and interoperable deployment and management of multiple embedded applications on secure chip technology. Its proven technology is regarded as the international industry standard for building a trusted end-to-end solution which serves multiple actors and supports several business models.

GlobalPlatform applies the term 'secure chip' in reference to embedded technologies used in various chips – such as smart cards, application processors, SD cards, USB tokens and secure elements – for protecting assets (data, keys and applications) from physical or software attacks.

The freely available specifications provide the foundation for market convergence and innovative new cross-sector partnerships. The technology has been adopted globally across finance, mobile/telecom, government, healthcare, retail and transit sectors. GlobalPlatform also supports an open compliance program ecosystem to ensure the long-term interoperability of secure chip technology.

Technical Benefits:

GlobalPlatform offers a interoperable, flexible and future-proof technology foundation for secure chip programs. GlobalPlatform solutions can be sourced competitively from multiple suppliers, ensuring that issuers are not locked into single source commercial relationships. GlobalPlatform cards, devices and systems are interoperable, regardless of technology vendor and the flexibility of the technical infrastructure ensures that it can respond to requirements that are unforeseen at the time of initial deployment. This gives issuers the reassurance that the infrastructure they have chosen will be able to adapt and grow as business conditions change - essentially 'future-proofing' the time and money invested in the development of the program.

Technical Document Publication Process:

GlobalPlatform technical documents originate from member collaboration within the organization's technical committees - the Card, Device and Systems Committees. Before each specification is published for download on the website, it undergoes the following steps in a rigorous review process:

Committee Review - Once the relevant GlobalPlatform working group has completed work on a new document, it is initially reviewed and approved by all members of the committee.

Member Review - Each document is then made available for all GlobalPlatform members to review.

Public Review - The final step is the public review period, when the draft document is published on the GlobalPlatform website to solicit feedback from the industry.

Click here to see technical documents currently available for public review.

Availability of GlobalPlatform Technical Documentation:

Most of GlobalPlatform's technical documents are available for free download to all parties. A limited number of documents, however, can only be accessed for free by GlobalPlatform members, by logging into the GlobalPlatform member website. These documents, which are clearly labeled, are available to purchase by non-members. Certain components of the compliance program are subject to a licensing fee for both members and non-members.