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ARM unveils new software that allows SIM cards to be used by IoT devices

ARM unveils new software that allows SIM cards to be used by IoT devices

Today’s growing army of connected devices all play a major role in bringing the full concept of the Internet of Things into life. But just like with any new technology, IoT has to go through its share of baby steps. For instance, most of the connected devices we are familiar with now generally rely on Wi-Fi networks to do their magic. But ARM has developed something that might change all that.

Enter Kigen -- this is a new software stack recently introduced by ARM, and it basically allows SIM cards to be integrated into various IoT gadgets. In other words, as opposed to relying always on a working Wi-Fi connection, smart objects at consumers’ homes can now function more like cell phones.

It goes without saying this latest development has the potential to really take off with the masses. ARM certainly believes so -- as a matter of fact, the processor design firm is projecting that by 2035, there could be a trillion connected devices, and having SIM card compatibility will be one of the driving forces in increased adoption among end users.

Sure, Wi-Fi networks are cool and all, but cellular connectivity and SIM cards simply are more effective, especially if a device is trying to connect to the world wide web. And of course, there are certain locations and scenarios wherein Wi-Fi centric solutions are inadequate or even inappropriate. For example, delivery trucks with IoT sensors could provide their real time location to the recipients of the packages they are delivering.

ARM’s Kigen could also contribute immensely in establishing a worldwide standard for IoT devices. And because there are SIM cards involved, every IoT gadget can be assigned a sort of unique identity. Having SIM cards also can provide a measure of protection

Of course, a lot still has to happen before that vision of the future can be realized. Wireless carriers, for instance, will need to be in on the program. As explained by Chet Babla, the vice president of solutions at ARM, the company is now trying to work things out with various mobile operators, especially with regards to how IoT connections will be charged, depending on the type of device or SIM card used.

ARM has been busy lately. Apart from introducing the Kigen software stack this week, the company also formally unveiled a couple of new artificial intelligence chips more than a week ago -- a machine learning processor that can handle general AI tasks, and a next gen object detection chip that can identify human faces and even human actions.