NXP, Qualcomm team on eSIMs for wearables

NXP, Qualcomm team on eSIMs for wearables

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

To lower the integration effort for developers, NXP’s SN110U comes pre-integrated into the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform from Qualcomm. This combines an eSIM with NFC for transit, access control and contactless payments, and an embedded secure element (eSE) to secure services and data.

Analysts at IDC  report that companies shipped a total of 104.6 million wearable units in the first quarter of 2021. Not only was it the first-time shipments exceeded 100 million units, but the first-quarter number is an impressive 34.4 percent increase year-on-year, compared to 2020. In 2021, wearables represent one of the fastest growing segments in tech.

Eliminating SIM cards simplifies the supply chain for wearables and the eSIM uses less space than a traditional SIM, so the design is easier to optimize for tight spaces and battery operation with a lower bill of materials is lower. The eSIM can receive updated profiles at any time and can store multiple profiles at once, so consumers can add backup profiles or travel internationally without having to change the SIM cards in their wearables, and it scales across geographic regions that use different service providers with additional profiles added at any point its life cycle, before or after sale.

Updates can be sent to the wearable over the air as needed, even in the field. Developers can address new threats as they arise and revise algorithms to reflect new approaches as they become available.

“The wearables industry is buzzing with rapid growth and unprecedented innovation in the industry,” said Pankaj Kedia, senior director and global head, Smart Wearables Segment at Qualcomm Technologies. “The Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator Program, which we announced earlier this summer, provides a vehicle for leading players in the wearables space to invent, innovate and invest in next generation products and accelerate the ecosystem. We welcome NXP to the program and look forward to advancing eSIM based connected use cases with mobile payments in collaboration with NXP.”

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