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Large-scale commercial iSIM deployment


The iSIM is another important step in SIM technology. G+D Mobile Security has played a key role in its development and along with PassTime is now launching the first commercially viable large-scale solution, together with AT&T and Sony Semiconductor Israel.

PassTime, a leading manufacturer of IoT solutions for the automotive industry, wanted to develop its next generation compact GPS locater to be even more energy-efficient with added features and reduced manufacturing complexity for broadening its applicability in other market verticals. Due to these requirements, a classic SIM card or even eSIM presented space and power challenges that were solved with the iSIM (integrated SIM) solution. PassTime selected G+D, AT&T and Sony for the next generation Encore product design.

The companies worked closely together to design the new PassTime Encore locater, which is based on Sony's Altair ALT1250 chipset and G+D Mobile Security's proven SIM operating system and is connected via AT&T's cellular network.

The central component of the solution is the iSIM or iUICC (integrated Universal Integrated Circuit Card). Unlike pluggable SIM cards or soldered eSIMs, the iUICC is a TRE (tamper-resistant element) within a SoC (system-on-a-chip). That means that the iSIM is an isolated hardware component that is combined with a baseband chipset to form a single connectivity module.

In the short term, the iSIM will be used primarily for secure IoT connectivity in applications on LTE-M or LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network), for example in the energy industry and in healthcare. Consumer devices, such as notebooks, are expected at a later phase.

iUICC offers numerous advantages. These include:

• Smaller hardware real estate for cost saving: the small space requirement, which enables the production of small, lightweight, and thus also cost-effective devices

• Energy efficient for IoT: optimized energy consumption, which increases the efficiency of IoT devices

• Streamlines end-to-end manufacturing process: efficient and fast device production that optimizes manufacturing and operating processes

• Trusted security with major connectivity operators: a high level of security offered by the isolated hardware in combination with G+D Mobile Security's SIM operating system

• Sustainability: ensured by dispensing with slots, additional housings, plastic and eliminating transport routes.

“For many IoT applications, analysts expect the iSIM to dominate in the long term. G+D Mobile Security invested in the research and development of this new technology at a very early stage and is now playing a pioneering role in the market launch together with industry partners. We are convinced, as demonstrated by this project, that this will enable us to write another exciting success story in this crucial technology segment,” explains Philipp Schulte, CEO G+D Mobile Security.

“PassTime’s asset tracking solution, Encore, is battery-powered and designed to track just about any mobile asset. The device’s small form factor and ultra-low energy-consumption are critical factors to the application as it is often called upon to be in the field for four years or more on the initial battery charge. The iSIM solution allows us to further enhance our solutions’ efficiency in these vital areas,” said Todd Goodnight, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at PassTime.

“The Encore PassTime Tracker marks the first commercial use of the iSIM in scale,” said Dima Feldman, VP Product Management and Marketing at Sony Semiconductor Israel. “This is an important step whose simplification and affordability will enable massive adoption of the IoT. We want to thank everyone involved in this development for making it happen.”

PassTime’s fourth generation Encore has completed testing and will be commercially available starting November 2023.

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