The KVM is part of the smallest runtime environment and included in the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME, formerly J2ME platform) software for use in devices with limited memory and CPU power.

Cell phones, pagers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) frequently run a KVM to provide common computing features.

The KVM is similar to the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) in that it is the engine that runs application and applet written with Java technology.KVM is used on cellphones and mobile devices whereas JVM is used on computers.

The Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE, formerly J2SE platform) contains the JRE, the Plug-in and the JVM. Java ME technology uses many differently sized virtual machines besides the KVM.The KVM is only one implementation of the CLDC (Connected Limited Device Configurations) available for running Java software on mobile devices.

Java ME technologies also include Mobile Information Device Profiles (MIDP), which are most commonly used to write applications for mobile devices, such as cell phones, and two-way pagers.