SIM card or subscriber identity module is an integrated device that is inserted into the mobile phone and it will contain the international mobile subscriber identity information. There is also other information in the SIM which can be used to identify and authenticate a particular user. SIM cards are usually given or issued by mobile network providers.
In the beginning the SIM cards were a bit bulky. It would have the same size as that of a credit card. It had dimensions of 85.6mm x 53.98 mm x 0.76 mm. Later on mini SIM cards were developed which had the dimensions of 25mm x 15 mm x 0.76mm. As time went by micro-SIM cards were developed by European telecommunication standard institute and they became very popular. The micro SIM had the dimension of 15 mm x 12 mm x 0.76mm.
The latest development in SIM card is the introduction of nano-SIM. This break through fete was achieved by Gieseke and Devrient (G&D) company. This SIM measures 12mm x 9 mm in length and breath. There was no change in the SIM’s thickness till now. This was due to the fact that reducing the thickness involves lot of technical difficulties. But the nano-SIM is 15% thinner compared to its predecessors. The nano-SIM is 30% smaller than mini SIM and is 60% smaller than the most common SIM cards that are used in our mobiles.
The smaller the SIM card more will be the space available for other components. That is when the SIM card reduces in size the extra space available can be used to integrate larger capacity storage devices or batteries that can last much longer than the present ones. An added advantage is that the SIM being sufficiently thin will allow the manufacture to create much thinner mobiles and tablets. Some initial prototypes and samples have been given to various mobile network operators for testing and getting familiar with.
The standardization of the nano-SIM is expected to be done through European telecommunication standard institute. After all the formal procedures and standardization the SIM is expected to be launched by the end of this year. There is a rumor that this new SIM may find its way to the next generation iPhone itself.
Considering the history of SIM cards no technical changes has been brought into its circuitry for the past 20 years except now. A micro SIM and regular SIM had the same circuit sizes. So a regular SIM can be cut down to a micro SIM by making use of a SIM cutter.
One problem with the advent of the nano-SIM and its small size may make it incompatible with phones having the present SIM holder. This problem is overcome by offering backward compatibility to the SIM. It is done by making available a holder or adapter that can house the new nano-SIM and which has the dimensions of the present SIM holder. By doing so, this SIM can be used by all the established mobile phone devices. This new SIM will be presented in trade shows in Europe from November 15 this year.