SIMCom combines with Infineon, Kigen on ‘smallest’ eSIM-based NB-IoT module
China-based IoT module maker SIMCom is offering its SIM7070 series NB-IoT device with an embedded SIM (eSIM) from German chipmaker Infineon, making the 24 mm x 24 mm SIM7070 the most compact eSIM-enabled module on the market. It is “significantly smaller” than standard eSIM-based IoT modules, according to its maker. Its availability will bring “new possibilities” for space-constrained and industrial IoT applications, said SIMCom.
The setup uses remote SIM management software from UK-based Kigen, spun out of chip design company Arm at the end of last year. There is growing momentum for eSIM technology to allow battery-powered fit-and-forget cellular IoT devices to be remotely provisioned, at scale and at once, in different locations across the world. QR codes can be scanned to remotely activate IoT devices. The alternative has been to manually configure physical SIMs.
The SIMCom SIM7070 series supports NB-IoT (Cat-NB) and LTE-M (Cat-M). It employs a leadless chip carrier (LCC) form factor, an integrated circuit with no contact pins/leads designed for compact product design. Single certified eSIM-enabled IoT products have gained popularity in smart metering and asset tracking, notably. The SIM7070 series is popular in metering, said SIMCom. It is designed for harsh industrial environments, providing an extended temperature range from -40 to 105°C.
Infineon is providing its OPTIGA Connect IoT eSIM solution and SLM17 32-bit eSIM security controller into the bargain; the security controller is embedded into a 2mm x 2mm surface-mount (SMD) package inside the SIM7070 module. Kigen is providing its eSIM operating system and remote SIM provisioning service, enabling over-the-air switching of SIM profiles from different connectivity providers, allowing for continuous local connectivity.
Yang Tao, chairman at SIMCom, said: “IoT equipment is getting smaller but has more functions, which presents a big challenge to the module supplier. Thanks to the cooperative effort with Infineon and Kigen, SIMCom’s NB-IoT module SIM7070 family now supports the option of embedding a miniaturized eSIM and facilitate integration, and logistics while reducing costs of manufacturing secure by design goods at scale.”
Juergen Rebel, senior vice president and general manager of embedded security at Infineon, said: “The deployment of 5G and the move towards the cloud and virtualization are reshaping operations and practices in the industry. We support this transformation through collaborations like this, eliminating the SIM integration effort. At the same time, we are meeting pressing industry demands for scalability, easy deployment and wide-scale coverage.”
Vincent Korstanje, chief executive at Kigen, said: “One barrier to scaling IoT is the complexity device makers face in accessing readily available hardware, especially with low-power cellular IoT. [This] collaboration brings together all elements [to] allow even the smallest devices to get connected with ease and at scale. Device makers can manufacture a single product to win new customers in new geographies and work with their preferred connectivity networks.”