Athena builds its solutions using state of the art technology to ensure its products are secure and optimized for their target audience.


Athena R&D teams design and build the core operating system, software and firmware technology used in our solutions. We believe this approach gives our customers access to cost effective, feature rich and secure solutions whilst ensuring they receive industry leading technical analysis and support from those who designed and built the systems. 

Secure Silicon OS

Athena has extensive experience of both proprietary and Java Card smart card OS architectures - with Common Criteria and FIPS certified solutions available for either platform type.

Our proprietary (native) solutions provide a secure full size or small foot print platform with PKI, Identity and Ticketing applications on board and biometric match-on-card as an option.

Our Java Card platforms offer an open multi-application environment where Athena and/or 3rd party functionality can be added or removed pre or post issuance. Athena Java Card solutions support ICAO, PKI, Windows Logon, IAS ECC, Driving License, biometric match-on-card and payment applications.

> view smart card platforms


Athena's fully featured client middleware, IDProtect Client, for Windows, Linux and Mac gives issuers transparent access to secure credential and key storage through industry standard interfaces, such as PKCS#11, MS CAPI, MS CNG and FIPS 201 (PIV), and supports optional features like biometric match-on-card.  

 > view IDProtect Client


Athena secure microcontroller solutions implement the latest cryptographic algorithms to ensure issuers have access to the latest technologies available.

We aim to constantly expand and develop our cryptography coverage to ensure our customers continue to receive the functionality they need. If you have particular requirements or requests do not hesitate to contact us.

Athena currently supports:

  • AES (Key lengths: up to 256 bits)
  • DES and 3DES (2 and 3 Keys)
  • RSA
    • JC 2.2 key lengths: up to 2048
    • JC 3.0 key lengths: up to 4096
  • Elliptic Curves (EC_FP)
    • JC 2.2 key lengths: 160, 192
    • JC 3.0 key lengths: 224, 256, 384
    • Proprietary key lengths: 521
  • Elliptic Curves (EC_F2M)
    • 163, 167, 173, 179, 191, 233, 257, 307, 367, 431
  • GOST 28147-89
    • CFB, CNT, ECB, MAC 256 bits
  • SEED
  • Support On-card key generation
    • RSA
    • EC_FP
  • Key Agreement
    • DH
    • ECDH
  • Hash Computation
    • MD5
    • GOST 3411
    • SHA-1
    • SHA-224 (EC_FP)
    • SHA-256, 384 and 512.


Athena builds security into its products from the outset. One of the key advantages of designing and building all our security solutions in-house is that it allows us to control the complete development lifecycle ensuring we supply consistent quality and secure products.

Athena solutions utilize both hardware and software countermeasures to ensure they meet stringent security and evaluation requirements. Athena solutions are Common Criteria and FIPS evaluated.

Athena products are built using quality components from leading manufactures to provide dedicated hardware protection against:

  • Advanced Protection against Physical Attack including Enhanced Protection Object, CStack Checker, Slope Detector, Parity Errors
  • Environmental Protection Systems
  • Voltage Monitors
  • Frequency Monitors
  • Temperature Monitors
  • Light Protection.

> view Athena's certifications


Athena smart card and reader solutions incorporate the latest biometric technologies to provide issuers with everything they need to deploy match-on-card authentication within their organisations easily.  

Smart card biometrics

Athena native and Java Card solutions are built with the biometric algorithms integrated at an OS native level to ensure users receive the best performance and security. 

Athena partners with the industry leading algorithm developers to integrate the latest algorithms; providing:

  • Minutiae based finger print comparison algorithms compliant with industry standards, such as ISO 19794-2
  • PIV compliant algorithms, tested as part of the NIST MINEX II program
  • Interoperability with most minutiae extractors
  • Fast comparison times
  • Easy integration
  • Low resource requirements
  • Optimized template sizes

> view Athena's smart card portfolio

Card reader biometrics

Athena Biometric Smart Card Readers and Keyboards are based on Athena’s ASEDrive IIIe technology. The ASEDrive IIIe Biometric card readers and keyboards incorporate advanced biometric fingerprint sensors providing high quality and high performance Biometric capabilities to support One to One or One to Many match verification. The ASEDrive IIIe Biometric readers are available with Touch area or Swipe sensors.

> view Athena's biometric readers

Smart Card Readers

Modern applications for smart cards, such as Digital Signature, Digital Certificate Verification and PKI, require high performance smart card readers. ASEDrive technology is designed to ensure higher communication speeds, reducing the time needed for communication intensive operations. ASEDrive also delivers a higher clock frequency to smart cards to reduce the time taken for CPU intensive operations, such as cryptographic calculations. ASEDrive readers are available in a range of form factors and technology options, including biometric sensors, integrated within keyboards or delivered as a motorized unit.  

With these high performance and technology features, ASEDrive ensures users receive the unparalleled throughput and functionality required for modern smart card applications.

Athena ASEDrive technology highlights:

  • PC/SC, ISO7816 (T=0, T=1),
  • Compatible with EMV, JIS X6303/6304, PC/SC, CAC and memory cards.
  • High speed communication through USB 2.0 (full speed) or Serial Port.
  • On-board flash memory for easy upgrading.
  • Ability to assign unique registration data to a single reader or batch using a special EEPROM area.
  • Support of high card-reader communication speed.
  • Certified by USB Implementers Forum, Microsoft WHQL and NIST.
  • Supports all major PC operating systems Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2003/2008/2008 R2 Server, Linux, MAC OS X.

ASEDrive Biometric options:

  • FIPS 201 certified by FBI and GSA options available
  • Proven silicon based technology withTouch or Swipe sensors
  • Patented active capacitance technology ensures reliability and ease-of-use

> view reader portfolio