Wearables, smartphones of many tech giant like (Apple and Google) have tried the successful future mainstream concept of eSIM replacing traditional SIMs in coming time.
ARM well-known for its dominance in the chip world has lately buzzed new fame by unveiling iSIM.
ARM has a vision of a trillion connected devices by 2035, and each of these devices will need a secure identity, enabling stakeholders to establish trust – for example, allowing a service provider to trust its device base so it can authenticate devices, provide value added services and if needed, issue security updates.
Traditional SIMs cannot change ownership after they are deployed in a device, and require physical access to change mobile network operator (MNO). In our shift to a world of billions of connected devices across smart cities, connected rural environments and digitally transformed industries, many of these devices will benefit from cellular connectivity, but physically making SIM changes is not scalable or even possible.
The integrated SIM (iSIM) is known to provide a way for IoT devices to have cellular identities. The new technology is also said to be GSMA Embedded SIM Specifications compliant.
Unlike an eSIM which is separate from the device’s main chipset and modem, iSIM combines everything into a single SoC.
So you have the main processor, modem, and SIM as a single component. ARM says the SIM is stored in a secure enclave with enhanced hardware security like its Arm CryptoIsland. The advantage this brings is a significant reduction in production cost.
ARM in its official release writes that the evolution of embedded SIM (eSIM) and more recently integrated SIM (iSIM) form factors is essential for providing secure identity to cellular IoT devices.
In combination with an on-chip security enclave for enhanced hardware security (such as Arm® CryptoIsland), this will allow the integration of an MCU, cellular modem and SIM identity into a single IoT SoC to significantly reduce device costs.
- Arm Kigen OS provides a scalable, low footprint and GSMA compliant software stack to enable full integration of SIM functionality into IoT SoC designs.
- Arm Kigen remote provisioning server solution offers flexibility with a modular design for easy integration with MNO and IoT platforms.
Forecasts predict up to 4.4B IoT devices will be cellular-enabled by 2025 (Machina, 2017). This solution enables SIM identity – with its associated security levels – at a much lower price point and with greater flexibility of deployment. It’s an important step in enabling operators, silicon providers and module vendors to realise the potential of cellular IoT and is already receiving support from key ecosystem players including BT, SoftBank and Sprint.
Secure identity is a critical principle of Platform Security Architecture (PSA) from Arm, the first common industry framework for building secure connected devices, which we launched in late 2017. PSA is a robust system architecture covering both hardware and firmware, pulling these common security principles into a set of system requirements and interfaces. The Kigen product family adheres to the security and immutable identity principles outlined by PSA.
This technology will unlock new levels of cellular IoT integration, enabling new services, business models and revenue streams for all cellular IoT ecosystem players.