Qualcomm, Vodafone, and Thales demonstrate major development in iSIM technology
Qualcomm today demonstrated a working smartphone featuring the next-gen integrated SIM (iSIM) technology in partnership with Vodafone and Thales. The new technology integrates the functionality offered by a physical SIM card to the main processor, which allows for “greater system integration, higher performance, and increased memory capacity.” Integrating the SIM with the main processor also frees up some valuable space, as it doesn’t require a separate chip like eSIM solutions or a SIM card tray, which has quite a few additional benefits.
In its press release, Qualcomm states that its iSIM technology offers the following benefits:
- Simplifies and enhances device design and performance by releasing space previously occupied within a device
- Consolidates the SIM functionality into the device’s main chipset alongside other critical capabilities such as GPU, CPU, and modem
- Enables remote SIM provisioning by the operator leveraging the existing eSIM infrastructure
- Opens mobile service connection capabilities to a host of devices that previously could not have SIM capabilities built-in
The press release further reveals that Qualcomm’s proof of concept (POC) demonstration took place in Europe at Samsung’s R&D labs and it illustrates the “technology’s commercial readiness and efficiency working on existing infrastructure, leveraging Vodafone’s advanced network capabilities.” In the demonstration, Qualcomm used a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, which features the Snapdragon 888 SoC. The Snapdragon 888 has a built-in Secure Processing Unit that runs the Thales iSIM operating system.
Talking about the demonstration Qualcomm’s Enrico Salvatori, said: “iSIM solutions offer great opportunities to MNOs, free-up valuable space in devices for OEMs, and provide flexibility for device users to benefit from the full potential of 5G networks and experiences across a wide range of device categories. Some of the areas that will benefit most from iSIM technology include smartphones, mobile PCs, VR/XR headsets, and industrial IoT. By engineering the iSIM technology into the SoC, we are able to create additional support for OEMs in our Snapdragon platform.”
At the moment, Qualcomm hasn’t shared any info on when we can expect to see its iSIM technology on a commercial device. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as Qualcomm reveals more details.