We are gradually getting to level where we are going to say goodbye to our physical SIM card altogether. An integrated SIM, or iSIM, is a SIM card embedded into a device’s main processor, rather than being a separate or physical card.

iSIM allows for more efficient use of space within a device, and can even reduce spending for manufacturers. Additionally, iSIMs are remotely manageable through any standard platform, providing flexibility and convenience for users.

As the market for iSIM continues to grow, we may see even more innovative uses for this technology emerge. Recently, Qualcomm and Thales have announced the certification of the world’s first commercially iSIM on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Here are the details…

Qualcomm and Thales Launch World’s First GSMA Compliant iSIM with Latest Snapdragon Mobile Platform

Qualcomm and Thales have announced the certification of the world’s first commercially deployable integrated SIM (iSIM) on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, with the latest GSMA (Global Association for the Mobile Communications Industry) security certification. The new iSIM is fully compliant with the GSMA Remote SIM Provisioning standard, making its subscriptions remotely manageable through any standard platforms.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 unveiled

Difference Between iSIM and eSIM

The iSIM enables the functionality of a SIM within a smartphone’s main processor, providing device makers further opportunities to save space and reduce build and supply chain costs while maintaining best-in-class security levels.

The iSIM form factor complements existing SIM and eSIM designs, and research suggests that the market share will grow to 300 million by 2027, representing 19% of all eSIM shipments, according to Kaleido Intelligence.

“We are very pleased to see our investment in high assurance processor hardware security, in collaboration with Thales, achieving the security and functional bar required by the GSMA for Remote Provisioning UICC use case. We believe a Tamper Resistant Element integrated within the host processor can efficiently enable innovative use cases across many markets and product segments,” said Ziad Asghar, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies.

Guillaume Lafaix, vice president of embedded products at Thales Mobile and Connectivity Solutions, said, “The world’s first security certification of an iSIM by the GSMA follows several years of intense development work by Qualcomm Technologies and Thales. Alongside the increasingly popular eSIM, the Thales 5G iSIM gives device makers and mobile operators even greater freedom to offer their customers effortless over-the-air connectivity and more exciting and accessible product designs.”

The integrated SIM form factor is highly attractive to device makers looking to create compact and cost-efficient smartphones, as well as other connected devices such as tablets and wearables. The market for iSIM is expected to complement the SIM and eSIM market offer.

Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer at GSMA, added, “The GSMA is committed to promoting a ‘security-first’ culture across the entire mobile ecosystem to ensure the benefits of mobile connectivity can be enjoyed safely by all. The GSMA eUICC Security Assurance scheme ensures that eSIM products, whether integrated or discrete, have the highest possible level of security resilience.

“In addition, we are delighted that our processes enable faster time to market for manufacturers and allows new types of products like the integrated SIM to emerge. iSIM increases the opportunity to proliferate cellular capability and satisfies a wider and more diverse market.”


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