can ARM’s iSIM solve the chaos of the IoT market?

I was reached out by a senior person from ARM. He shared with me an article about iSim (integrated Sim). Very interesting stuff, they see the challenges from today’s chaos in the IoT market. Hardware, software, deployment and maintenance….. All these things make IoT complicated. You cannot provide a SaaS service in IoT like you do in a pure software business.

What is the difference between SIM, eSIM and iSIM? check this out:

SIM card

The one in your phone. Every knows about it, it’s a small chip that carriers use to store credentials and authenticate device to communicate with the operators’ mainnet. It works if you manage a few phones, but it becomes impossible if you have tens of thousands of IoT devices.


Embedded eSIM technology offers an elegant, robust, and almost infinitely scalable solution to the legacy SIM challenges in IoT applications. An eSIM is still a physical SIM, but instead of being removable, it’s soldered permanently into a device. Authorized users can access and update profiles and other data on the eSIM via an over-the-air, remote SIM provisioning solution (RSP).


iSIM amplifies and extends these and other qualities, while also eliminating some of eSIM’s shortcomings.

iSIM’s major innovation is that it moves SIM functionality into a device’s permanent hardware array. Unlike eSIM, however, iSIM no longer relies on a separate processor; nor does it demand a significant share of a device’s hardware footprint. Instead, iSIM enables hardware OEMs and processor design companies to design system-on-a-chip (SOC) architectures that integrate SIM functionality with an existing, onboard processor and cellular modem.

If all OEMs and processor companies follow this standard, they can make the processor much smaller, more energy efficient and maybe cheaper.

My opinion, It’s not a technology challenge but more a business challenge. If no processor company wants to integrate iSIM, or only a few want to do so… the market won’t be able to support the enterprise market. Business customers never buy one piece of technology. They want to purchase the end to end solution. For example, as a manufacture site manager. I want to buy a monitoring solution, from sensor, device management software and support. If not many sensors support this standard, how am I going to adjust the purchase strategy? Which software are you going to use? Can your local carriers support this iSIM? (it takes years for carriers to offer large scale of eSIM…. iSIM will be faster?)

I still remember the day I visited the electrical engineering lab. I saw all the chip, Wafer, chip that can be put into your stomach to do ultrasonic measurement, etc. That was absolutely amazing! However, to quickly scale up a hardware business is difficult…

There is another approach…..


software doesn’t just carry code, it carries our lives

Instead of making things smaller and smaller (I don’t against that to be honest, but we have to be fast, faster before the real quantum computer arrives), we should use as many existing resources as possible to create a more secure and trusted world. That’s decentralization.

Yes, I have to mention this concept again as I have mentioned in my earlier post (is cloud-based IoT solution the future?

To summarize:

IoT starts from hardware and communication protocol(IoT 1.0), and is moving toward software-defined hardware and cloud (IoT 2.0). But we have seen so many security breaches and privacy scandals happening around us recently. Cloud is like pandora’s box. It has endless power, but you have to face the consequences as well. To make sure we can control the pandora’s box for IoT, a decentralized connected world is emerging… in my opinion, IoT 3.0 is already on its way.

Stay tuned, I will spend more time on my next article to explain how distributed network can be beneficial to IoT.