Sequans ships first certified iSIM wireless IoT chip

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

French chip designer Sequans Communications has launched the industry’s first GSMA-compliant integrated iSIM (iUICC) certified to the Common Criteria on its latest cellular IoT chip

The Monarch 2 LTE-M/NB-IoT chip includes an integrated SIM from ARM subsidiary Kigen. Having the SIM integrated directly into the chip reduces the opportunities for tampering and provides a powerful security advantage for those IoT applications in utilities, healthcare, banking, or retail, where security is of paramount importance. This is reinforced by the certification to the Common Criteria for security.

Beyond iUICC, Monarch 2 enables highly secured data ciphering and encryption using the certified secure enclave.

Sequans worked with Tiempo Secure, a leading provider of security IP for semiconductor design companies, and Kigen on the full iSIM design. Tiempo handled the certification work with CEA-LETI, where Monarch 2’s CC EAL5+ Common Criteria security rating was tested and proven. Sequans and Kigen demonstrated Monarch 2’s iSIM capabilities using Kigen’s SIM OS with key customers and operators.

“We have reached a major milestone with this new and powerful iSIM capability in Monarch 2 that takes the vision of massive IoT from an exciting possibility to a present-day reality,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “We are grateful to Kigen and Tiempo for their contributions that have helped us provide our IoT customers with an iSIM solution from which they can reap huge benefits in streamlined logistics, manufacturing, and provisioning—and one that is truly future-proof. All who are engaged in Common Criteria certification knows that the process is inherently complex and challenging, but we were determined to achieve it since we understand the need of our customers for unassailable security for their IoT applications.”

“Monarch 2 is one of the most advanced IoT platforms and the only LTE-M/NB-IoT chip with such a high level of integrated security,” said Serge Maginot/CEO, Tiempo. “Passing Common Criteria EAL5+ certification with such a complex chip integrating our secure element IP is a world-first achievement and proves that Monarch 2 with its GSMA-compliant integrated SIM is a first-class solution.”

“Integrated SIM delivers significant reduction in size and silicon footprint in addition to enhancing security,” said Vincent Korstanje, Kigen. “We are proud that Kigen’s iSIM OS with Remote SIM provisioning now allows customers to address the most security critical applications on the IoT market with the CC EAL5+ certified Monarch 2 SoC.”

“The high level of security Sequans has achieved with the EAL5+ certification on Monarch 2 will surely speed-up the iSIM adoption in IoT devices,” said Cameron Coursey, vice president, IoT Solutions, AT&T. “It is very clear that SIM security available on-chip will have a tremendous effect on accelerating the IoT market.”

“Sequans made a smart decision with their standards-based approach to iSIM in Monarch 2,” said Amanda Huang, senior product manager of Intelis Cellular water meter at Itron. “We see the value of having such an approach in the ecosystem to provide simpler manufacturing, which will help Itron to increase operations management efficiency while streamlining the supply chain.”

“Standardization and certification will be key in unlocking eSIM/iSIM functionality and its subsequent market opportunity,” said Phil Seely, research director at ABI Research. “First movers like Sequans understand the importance of standardization and its significant role in enabling true end-to-end digitization. Sequans and its Monarch 2 solution with CC EAL5+ certification for full GSMA-compliant iUICC support is a great example of this and it will help bring eSIM/iSIM and its functionality to the masses.”

Evaluation kits for testing Monarch 2 with iSIM using select mobile network operator profiles are now available.

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