After announcing their plans revolutionize the smartphone market with onboard AI chips, Arm is back again. This time, the company wants to deliver their share of contribution to mold the future of SIM cards.
Arm plans to integrate SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards directly into the processors through their new processor design called Kigen. The company like to call the technology iSIM or integrated SIM.
You might have heard about the eSIM (embedded SIM) technology that also kicks out external SIM cards from devices. In both cases, the devices can be reprogrammed to work on different carrier networks.
In fact, iSIM is compliant with GSMA’s embedded SIM specifications and adds an onboard hardware-based security module. However, the difference is that eSIM is implemented by adding a separate chip on the device, whereas, iSIM would be built into the processor itself.
The iSIM technology is primarily intended for IoT devices where the scarcity of space is a greater concern than smartphones. The devices can be configured to support the existing 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.It can also support upcoming 5G technology and IoT-focused networks like NarrowBand IoT and LTE-M.
iSIM could be seen as an effort to bring cellular connectivity to mostly compact IoT devices with different form factors while cutting down costs and boosting security. Research firm Machina predicted in their last year’s report that around 4.4 billion IoT devices with cellular connectivity would exist by 2025.
While we might see iSIM-powered IoT devices popping up in the market by the year’s end, there is no clue when (or ever) the tech will make it’s way to smartphones. Hopefully, it might happen soon.
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