Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the first chip to use iSIM


  • Qualcomm has partnered with Thales to bake iSIM or embedded SIM capabilities inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC.
  • The new form factor makes switching carrier services smoother and faster.
  • iSIM also takes up much less space inside phones than eSIMs and physical SIM slots.

eSIMs are a great way to circumvent the need for a physical SIM card. Having eSIM capabilities on the phone can also be very useful when you are traveling and you should use switch triggers while on the go. But Qualcomm now has technology that could make eSIMs obsolete.

The chipmaker has packed iSIM or embedded SIM functionality inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform. The new form factor is very attractive as it makes switching services smoother and faster.

Unlike eSIMs, iSIMs are located on the phone’s main processor. This means that the technology takes up much less space inside the device than physical SIM card slots or even eSIM cards.

iSIM vs. eSIM

According to Qualcomm, this leads to lower costs and improved efficiency for smartphone makers. It also allows manufacturers to create smaller and more compact devices.

Moreover, iSIMs consume less power compared to eSIMs, which makes them ideal for IoT devices, according to Thales, the mobile security company that partnered with Qualcomm to develop the technology. It also supports the same high-level security protection standards as the latest generation eSIM.

Qualcomm expects global iSIM shipments to reach 300 million by 2027, accounting for 19% of all eSIM shipments.

Qualcomm hasn’t confirmed whether existing Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones, such as the Galaxy S23 series, are actually iSIM capable. However, Thales said that iSIMs will be made available for the first time in high-end smartphones and will eventually make their way to entry-level and mid-range smartphones, as well as wearables.

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