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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
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
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