What just happened? Qualcomm has announced that its latest mobile platform is ready to integrate eSIM functionality directly into the silicon SoC. The embedded SIM (or iSIM) form factor is very attractive to device makers, the company said, as a cost-saving enhancement for smartphones and other connected devices.
The classic SIM-based standard is slowly being replaced by new eSIM technology, but mobile manufacturers and SoC designers are already working to go beyond that. Qualcomm Recently Announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform is the first GSMA-certified iSIM-enabled device and the world’s first “commercially deployable” SoC device with iSIM functionality built directly into the chip.
iSIM is yet another – and probably the last – step in the evolution of connectivity technology for mobile users and devices. The eSIM (embedded-SIM) was designed to replace the small plastic card (and the integrated circuit inside) necessary for the identification of the user by the mobile service providers by a chip soldered on the motherboard. of the phone.
With iSIM technology, the aforementioned chip is not necessary because the connectivity identification tasks are handled directly by the SoC platform. Qualcomm strong points how the new iSIM technology offers device manufacturers “additional opportunities to save space and reduce construction and supply chain costs”, while maintaining the same top-notch level of security.
The San Diego-based chip designer worked with French multinational Thales Group to make its iSIM solution fully compliant with the GSMA Remote SIM Provisioning standard. Therefore, mobile operators should be able to manage iSIM subscriptions the same way they currently manage eSIM users.
The iSIM market is expected to reach 300 million devices by 2027, Qualcomm said, with a 19% market share of all eSIM device shipments by then. While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC provides built-in iSIM support, phone makers still mostly use discrete eSIM chips in their designs.
According to Guillaume Lafaix, vice president of in-vehicle products at Thales Mobile, the world’s first GSMA security certification for the company’s 5G iSIM gives device manufacturers and mobile operators even more freedom to offer users “effortless wireless connectivity”.
iSIM technology increases the ability to “proliferate cellular capability” on mobile devices and other connected devices, said GSMA Chief Technology Officer Alex Sinclair. During this time, end users and customers will no longer have any control over connection portability.