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Arm Delivers Integrated SIM Identity to Secure Next Wave of Cellular IoT Devices

Arm introduces new technologies to deliver SIM grade identity for cellular IoT at a cost point that scales to billions of devices.
By Paul Williamson, SVP and GM of the IoT LoB, Arm

By Paul Williamson, Vice President and General Manager, IoT Device IP Line of Business, Arm

News highlights:

  • Arm introduces new technologies to deliver SIM grade identity for cellular IoT at a cost point that scales to billions of devices
  • Arm® Kigen™ family delivers integrated SIM functionality to IoT SoC designs, and a flexible remote provisioning server solution for OEMs, MNOs and IoT platforms
  • Broad industry support for evolution of SIM technology

Arm has a vision of a trillion connected devices by 2035, and each of these devices will need a secure identity, enabling stakeholders to establish trust – for example, allowing a service provider to trust its device base so it can authenticate devices, provide value added services and if needed, issue security updates.

For years, SIM cards have provided a robust, trusted and highly tested mechanism for secure identity for mobile phones and other cellular connected devices. However, traditional SIMs cannot change ownership after they are deployed in a device, and require physical access to change mobile network operator (MNO). In our shift to a world of billions of connected devices across smart cities, connected rural environments and digitally transformed industries, many of these devices will benefit from cellular connectivity, but physically making SIM changes is not scalable or even possible.

In addition to the issue of physical handling of SIMs, cost and size are barriers to integrating this technology into smaller form factor IoT devices for large scale, cost sensitive deployments. Simplification and cost efficiency are necessary to ensure that as the IoT grows, the management of credentials is transparent and interoperable. The evolution of embedded SIM (eSIM) and more recently integrated SIM (iSIM) form factors is essential for providing secure identity to cellular IoT devices.

Today, Arm is launching new technologies compliant with GSMA Embedded SIM Specifications to offer secure identity in cellular IoT applications for both device makers and service providers. In combination with an on-chip security enclave for enhanced hardware security (such as Arm® CryptoIsland), this will allow the integration of an MCU, cellular modem and SIM identity into a single IoT SoC to significantly reduce device costs.

  • Arm Kigen OS provides a scalable, low footprint and GSMA compliant software stack to enable full integration of SIM functionality into IoT SoC designs
  • Arm Kigen remote provisioning server solution offers flexibility with a modular design for easy integration with MNO and IoT platforms

Forecasts predict up to 4.4B IoT devices will be cellular-enabled by 2025 (Machina, 2017). This solution enables SIM identity – with its associated security levels – at a much lower price point and with greater flexibility of deployment. It’s an important step in enabling operators, silicon providers and module vendors to realise the potential of cellular IoT and is already receiving support from key ecosystem players including BT, SoftBank and Sprint.

Secure identity is a critical principle of Platform Security Architecture (PSA) from Arm, the first common industry framework for building secure connected devices, which we launched in late 2017. PSA is a robust system architecture covering both hardware and firmware, pulling these common security principles into a set of system requirements and interfaces. The Kigen product family adheres to the security and immutable identity principles outlined by PSA.

This technology will unlock new levels of cellular IoT integration, enabling new services, business models and revenue streams for all cellular IoT ecosystem players.

You can hear more about our perspective on securing the IoT in a keynote I’m giving at Mobile World Congress, taking place on Monday 26 February, 11am in Hall 4, Auditorium 4. We’ll also be demonstrating a range of the latest Arm technologies on our booth at the show, visit us in Hall 6, Stand 6E30.

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Alex Harrod
Senior Director Public Relations, Arm
+44 7795 363057
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