Nordic shows softSIM data low power IoT

Nordic shows softSIM data low power IoT

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Nordic Semiconductor has detailed power data following its deal to port the SoftSIM from Onomondo for low power designs in the Internet of Things (IoT).

SoftSIM is the world’s first 100% software and agnostic IoT SIM, and now available for commercial deployment on Nordic cellular IoT chips such as the nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP). Nordic announced the deal with Onomondo of Copenhagen back in May. 

The deal was driven by the fact that, while non-physical eSIMs have promise, they still demand additional supporting hardware. Reusing modules that already exist for cellular IoT allows the softSIM to be stored and executed as pure software. The SIM is also network and platform agnostic, meaning there are no hidden lock-ins or unnecessary costs for users. 

The agreement allows developers to download SoftSIM from the cloud, which will then be executed as software by the nRF9160 SiP’s embedded ARM Cortex-M33 application processor. Eliminating the  need for extra hardware reduces the complexity of the design and the bill-of-materials (BoM) and also reduces the power consumption.

During testing, Onomondo found that using a SoftSIM reduces the current consumption to around 3.5µA as the software consumes near zero current consumption in idle mode, compared to an average consumption of 46µA observed when using physical SIM cards from other connectivity providers. This means that the total average current in idle mode of the radio module can go from 52µA down to 9.5µA which will greatly increase the battery lifetime of the device.

“This is an important milestone for Onomondo and our mission,” said Michael Karlsen, co-founder and CEO of Onomondo.

“Our promise has always been to break down the silos that exist between hardware and software within the IoT industry, and the successful integration of SoftSIM into nRF91 Series-based designs and now its availability to users is a huge step forward in delivering on it. The testing data already shows how much it could impact low power IoT projects globally, so we’re excited to see what the future holds as we work to build on this success and continue bringing SoftSIM to IoT users globally,” he said.  

“Back in 2015, we started developing the nRF9160, a groundbreaking product for Cellular IoT, with a vision of one day replacing the traditional SIM technology with smarter solutions,” said Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO/VP R&D at Nordic Semiconductor. 

“We’re happy that our collaboration with Onomondo brings the ‘world’s first’ SoftSIM to the market. This innovation simplifies how IoT devices connect, significantly cuts costs, enhances power efficiency, and provides more flexibility for our customers. This partnership shows our dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the IoT world.”

“When you think of connectivity, it’s something that should just ‘work’, no questions asked. For too long, progress in our industry has been held back by the legacy barriers between hardware and software. But it’s the innovation between Nordic and Onomondo that we’re now starting to see what’s possible when different parts of the industry collide and work more closely together. The testing data we saw was incredibly encouraging, and we’re excited to now be able to offer our users the ability to deploy the technology in the real world,” said Pavel Hübner, CEO and Co-founder of Hardwario in the Czech Republic which tested SoftSIM.

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