Nordic and Onomondo Partner to Bring SoftSIM to Low-power Cellular IoT

Article By : Nordic Semiconductor

Nordic and Onomondo are collaborating to bring Onomondo's SoftSIM to cellular IoT end-products based on Nordic's nRF9160 low power SiP.

Nordic Semiconductor and Onomondo are collaborating to bring Onomondo’s SoftSIM to cellular IoT end-products based on Nordic’s nRF9160 low power SiP. The collaboration between Nordic and Onomondo makes it easy for cellular IoT device makers to add SoftSIM to their nRF91 Series-based designs, simplifying development, reducing costs and shortening time-to-market.

Because cellular IoT leverages mature and widespread cellular infrastructure, network access requires each end-device to carry a unique Subscriber Identification Module (SIM). Traditional SIMs are physical devices that need to be plugged-in to cellular products, and later developments such as non-physical eSIMs still demand additional supporting hardware.

SoftSIM is a “world’s first” 100 percent software IoT SIM alternative that is platform agnostic. The product is downloaded from the Cloud and then executed as software by the nRF9160 SiP’s embedded ARM Cortex-M33 application processor. The SoftSIM is using functionality implemented using Arm TrustZone security environment to secure assets.

By combining Onomondo’s SoftSIM with Nordic’s low power nRF9160 SiP with integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GNSS, users have an ‘out-of-the-box’ connectivity solution that eliminates not only the need for the manufacture and shipping of physical SIM cards but also their associated overheads. In addition, SoftSIM eliminates the need for a physical SIM socket on the end-device design, reducing the bill-of-materials (BoM) and component costs, simplifying design, and decreasing the size of the end product.

Moreover, using SoftSIM enhances the nRF9160 SiP’s already sector-leading low power consumption by lowering idle mode power consumption almost completely since the SIM runs in software. Generally that means average savings of approximately 40µA compared to using a physical SIM or eSIM. Lower power consumption enables extended battery life or the use of smaller cells.


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