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ARM and embedded SIM

Mar. 06, 2018 – It seems that a hot ticket at Mobile World Congress this year was embedded SIM announcements. As a reminder of why this space is hot, cellular communication for provisioning and data uploads is a very real option for many IoT devices. In agricultural, smart energy and asset tracking applications for example, near-range options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth obviously aren't viable. And since IoT is scaling up fast (GSMA suggests a $1.8T opportunity for operators by 2026) and conventional SIM cards are hopelessly unscalable as a way to manage credentials and keys, embedded SIM solutions, updatable over the air (OTA), look like the way to go.

ARM just announced their Kigen (pronounced Keegan or perhaps Keygen) product in this space, building on their acquisition of Simulity, a provider of operating systems for SIMs along with related server support. They call this iSIM which they position as more advanced MFF2 (chip SIM) though others seem to consider eSIM to be more in line with what ARM is promoting. Whatever - in either case the idea is a device soldered into the system (rather than plugged into a SIM socket) which can be provisioned and updated OTA.

This being ARM, the hardware can be built around their MCUs and Cordio radio IP with iSIM providing the SIM function, typically based on a secure enclave through CryptoIsland and the Simulity OS software (Kigen OS+). Also, following the philosophy of their PSA architecture, there is a server component to the solution, which I believe is also from the Simulity acquisition. This is designed to meet the needs of mobile network operators (MNOs), IoT service providers, OEM and module makers and enterprises that will be using these solutions.
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