Circuit Card Interface Device. A subset of the USB specification that is the standard for USB based smartcard readers.
Universal Serial Bus. A standard Input/Output bus that supports very high transmission rates. Up to 120 devices can be daisy-chained to a USB port.
Any device that can communicate with a smart card (e.g., reader, coupler...). Certain terminals can operate in standalone mode, while others must be connected to a central information system to access an application.
The de-facto standard to interface Personal Computers with Smart Cards (and smartcard readers of course). SpringCard PC/SC Readers comply with this standard. This makes those products usable on most operating systems, using an high-level and standardized API.
A value that is used with a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt (or sign) data. The longer the key, the more secure the encryption.
A network-oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. Java was specifically designed so that programs could be safely downloaded to remote devices (e.g., Web pages, smart cards, etc.).
Application Programming Interface: A definition of calling conventions through which an application program accesses to other services such as the operating system, drivers, databases, or middleware layers.
reader (Microprocessor-based card)
An ICC (or a PICC) whose chip is a small computer. This is the case of high-end cards used in payment, transport, eID/passports, access control... Key features are security, ability to store a large amount of data and to run an application inside the chip. Most of the time they implement the command set defined by ISO 7816-4.
Coupling device or coupler. A device able to communicate with an ICC. This is what everybody calls a smartcard reader. Technically speaking it could be seen as a gateway between the computer and the card.