Hitachi Micro Systems Europe selects ACE's CoSy® compiler development system for advanced Smart Card banking tools

ACE Press Release

San Jose, California, USA 27 September, 1999

Code density and stack-usage prove critical to MULTOS compiler

Hitachi Micro Systems Europe Ltd (London, UK), has chosen ACE Associated Compiler Experts' CoSy compiler development system to develop C compilers for its advanced multi-application Smart Cards. Targeted at generating code for applications running under the MULTOS Smart Card operating system, these compilers must achieve extremely high code density to stay within the memory constraints of the MULTOS Smart Card environment. CoSy was chosen because of its excellent optimization capabilities and its short learning curve, which have enabled Hitachi Micro Systems Europe Ltd (HMSE) to quickly bring compiler development in-house while maintaining exceptional product quality and short development times.

"Because the MULTOS Smart Card virtual machine is stack-based and has to run with very limited memory resources, every single application instruction generated by the compiler really has to be justified," said Matt Newsome, senior engineer and project leader for compiler development at HMSE. "With CoSy, we found that the majority of the global optimizers and infrastructure we needed to produce code-efficient compilers were built into the development environment right from the start."

Although Newsome and his team at HMSE had already acquired a great deal of expertise in compiler design while working with third-party compiler developers, they were relatively new to the actual process of compiler generation. Bringing compiler development in-house without jeopardizing time-to-market requirements therefore required considerable confidence in the development system.

"Having so much of ACE's IP incorporated into CoSy from the outset, such as a C front-end and a set of global optimizers, was an enormous advantage when it came to producing compilers within the allotted time scales," said Newsome. "We do not believe that there is any other development platform we could have used that would have achieved such good results in a similar amount of time," he added.

Bringing compiler development in-house has also brought other real benefits for Hitachi Micro Systems Europe. "Compared to paying a typical third-party developer it has cut our development costs by around two thirds, for an initial outlay that only amounted to around 10% of our budget for an external compiler development project," said Newsome, "plus we get all the benefits of IP re-use that come from acquiring in-house expertise in compiler generation."

Commenting for ACE, vice president of marketing and sales Marco Roodzant said, "The code density and stack efficiency requirements of HMSE's MULTOS Smart Card solutions are yet another area where CoSy's powerful optimizers and code generators are proving to be really beneficial to our customers. With HMSE now part of our global CoSy network, we look forward to their feedback on this important application area."

HMSE will release its MULTOS C Compiler product as part of its complete MULTOS development toolset in the fourth quarter of 1999. These tools will facilitate compilation, assembly and linkage of application code into compact and efficient byte-code for the MULTOS virtual machine platform. The total offering includes an IDE, compiler, assembler/linker, graphical debugger and terminal simulator, thereby making MULTOS based Smart Card solutions (including Mondex applications) useable systems today, not just visions of tomorrow.


MULTOS is a secure, multi-application smart card platform. It allows products (in the form of applications) to be added to and deleted from the card. Third party software developers can develop their own MULTOS applications, allowing them to tailor design Value Added Services for the card user. Such applications include loyalty, ticketing, credit, debit and electronic purse. MULTOS was launched in May 1997 has met a great success in the financial services industry. More recently, combined with PKI applications, MULTOS has become the basis of a number of world leading e-commerce initiatives.

MAOSCO is a world-wide consortium which was formed to drive the adoption and manage the on-going development of MULTOS as an industry standard platform for smart cards. Members of the consortium include American Express, Discover Financial Services, DNP, Europay International, Fujitsu (including its subsidiaries ICL and Amdahl), Giesecke and Devrient, Hitachi, Infineon Technologies (a subsidiary of Siemens), Keycorp, MasterCard International and Mondex International, Motorola and Telstra.

About ACE

ACE Associated Compiler Experts bv (a wholly owned subsidiary of ACE Associated Computer Experts bv, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) is a world leader in the production of compiler development tools for professional compiler developers. Its open CoSy compiler development platform gives compiler developers the ability to achieve a similar leading edge position in the construction of better and faster optimizing compilers for architectures ranging from 4-bit DSPs to 256-bit VLIW processors. CoSy already supports a wide range of programming languages including C, Fortran and Java.

About Hitachi Micro Systems Europe

Hitachi Micro Systems Europe Ltd. Was formed in 1994 and is based in Maidenhead, England. HMSE designs tools and solutions for customers and supports the Electronics Components Group of Hitachi Europe Limited, in Maidenhead, Hitachi Semiconductor America, in San Jose, and Hitachi Asia Limited, in Singapore. For more information please visit Hitachi Micro Systems Europe's web site at