Podcasts > Ep. 095 - iSIM for connected device secure identity
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Ep. 095
iSIM for connected device secure identity
Vincent Korstanje, CEO Kigen
Friday, July 16, 2021

In this episode, we discuss the role of eSIM and of the new iSIM in establishing a certificate based security chain from production through the entire device lifecycle. We also explored how iSIM can enable smaller form factors reduce cost and improve battery life on IoT devices by consolidated functionality on to fewer chips.

Vincent Konstanje is the CEO of Kigen. Kigen was founded by Arm and focuses on developing the new on chip form factor called iSIM as a basis of connected device secure identity. 

oT ONE is a IIoT focused research and advisory firm. We provide research to enable you to grow in the digital age. Our services include market research, competitor information, customer research, market entry, partner scouting, and innovation programs. For more information, please visit iotone.com

Transcript.

Erik: Welcome to the Industrial IoT Spotlight, your number one spot for insight from industrial IoT thought leaders who are transforming businesses today with your host, Erik Walenza.

Welcome back to the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast. I'm your host, Erik Walenza, CEO of IoT ONE, the consultancy that specializes in supporting digital transformation of operations and businesses in Asia. Our guest today is Vincent Korstanje, CEO of Kigen. Kigen was founded by Arm and focuses on developing the new on-chip form factor called iSIM as the basis of connected device secure identity. In this talk, we discussed the role of the eSIM and of the new iSIM in establishing a certificate based security chain from production through the entire device lifecycle. We also explored how iSIM can enable smaller form factors, reduce cost, and improve battery life on IoT devices by consolidated functionality onto fewer chips.

If you find these conversations valuable, please leave us a comment and a five-star review. And if you'd like to share your company's story or recommend a speaker, please email us at team@IoTone.com. Finally, if you have a business challenge, and would like to discuss solutions with me, please email me directly at erik.walenza@IoTone.com. Thank you. Vincent, thank you so much for joining us today.

Vincent: Thank you, Erik. And thank you for having me.

Erik: So Vincent, really interested in learning what Kigen is doing. I'm actually really also curious on your background and how you ended up as the CEO of a corporate startup or internal startup. I know you've been with Arm for 22 years and one month. It looks like Arm is quite a significant part of your career, but you were in some work previously. Maybe your career started a bit before IoT was the term, but where did you first touch this domain?

Vincent: Yeah, thank you. Quite a long time I started as a software engineer at Arm in our compiler team. And over my career, I moved after that into more commercials, headed up our software and systems marketing group for a long time. And probably about six years ago, I started also heading up our security initiative. At the same time, about four years ago, Arm was bought by Softbank and security became a really important part of our offering, and particularly around IoT. So we started investigating more and more what we're doing in IoT for security.

And actually, we came up with something called Security Enclave where you centralized some of your security thinking into your chip. And this is kind of something really useful for IoT. So as we are doing that, and as we are getting investment for Softbank, I started having this initiative around how do we do better security in IoT? And that led me to now start forming a group inside Arm, and that group has now been spun out under the name Kigen. So, that’s has been keeping me very busy for the last now six years. And now we're going to really accelerating by our offering being standalone and being spun out of Arm into the market as a standalone company.

Erik: And if we look at the IoT market, where do you see security today? I was just chatting with a friend earlier this week who's running the new security division for Tubsurd which is approaching this from a regulatory and testing perspective. But for them, this has been kind of a boom year. But we were discussing this is an ongoing battle. So there's obviously, incentives on the other side to improve their capabilities in terms of compromising systems. But where do you see us today in the IoT domain? Do you see us moving towards a position of greater security? Or do you see us moving towards a position in the short-term of less security of systems?

Vincent: So now, if you look in the last five years, our thinking is that IoT was quite confused. There’re many, many standards and many, many ways of protecting the system, and which is not really helpful because now if you think about systems, it just needs to be trusted. And one of the things that we were thinking about and actually are taking inspiration from is called the security of your smartphone. Your smartphone is something used for banking, the smartphone is something you use for your social media, so it's kind of highly desirable to be hacked, but also highly defended. And the defense is more around how do you make sure that your identity is protected, and how do we roll this out?

So our mission is very much about how do we make security in a more designed in, easier, trusted? And the thing we came up with is just going to have to extend something kind of the SIM. Actually, you can use same bit of hardware into an IoT space and becomes now very easy because the standards are there, the trust is there, is just enough you need to extend it a little bit, you need to make it send a couple where we can talk about it in more detail. But there are a couple of things we need to do to it.

But generally, you build on that same basis. Now, once you start doing that, actually, the IoT security does all boats get raised up higher, and you start to be able to trust it much more. Because at the moment, I think it is a bit patchy, and this patchy because there're so many competing standards and so many different ways of doing things and isn't now quite clear on what the right way is. So that's what very much what we're advocating is take really high standard on the cellular security and rolling out wider into the whole IoT space.

Erik: And for Kigen, cellular security is this orient primarily around IoT devices, or do you also address the traditional mobile phone?

Vincent: So we mainly look at IoT devices. So what we do is we take some of the technology developed for mobile phones, and then adapt that for IoT. The mobile phones obviously have different characteristics than IoT device. Maybe they have a bigger battery. Maybe they're a bigger form factor. So how can we get that form factor down? But also they tend to have a higher cost of ownership or a much higher cost device. So how can we get that down into an IoT footprint? So that's really we're focused heavily on IoT but using technology for every space we can. And this is one of the spaces we are using our inspiration for.

Erik: So I'm looking at your homepage here and we have this frontline sentence, “Empowering solutions that scale trust and security through our SIM, eSIM, iSIM, and remote SIM provisioning technologies.” So without getting too technical, can you give us the 101 on what is the difference between SIM, eSIM, iSIM, and remote SIM?

Vincent: So now, obviously, everybody knows the SIM. So if you have your mobile phone, you have a SIM. If you want to change operator, you take a little bit of plastic with the chip out, and you put a new one in. That is a SIM. The SIM itself is highly protected, highly secure, because clearly a lot of data depends on that, be that your banking app, or your network access, you’re roaming in a foreign country. So it's really important and well-tested technology.

But if you look at an IoT device, a SIM isn't perfect. Well, the things isn't perfect in a SIM is actually the hole on the sides. So having a hole on the side of the device is maybe inconvenient from a design point of view for the mobile. But actually from an IoT device, if you're in a hostile environment, if you're in a dusty environment, if you're in a wet environment, you don't want to hole on the sides.

So the industry came up with a solution, which is called eSIM, you no longer insert the bit of hardware, you just put it on the motherboards on the main device, PCB or boards of the device where the other chips are and you just solder them. Now this is great because now you can close the hole, and you no longer have the intrusion of dust and maybe moisture.

But obviously, if you want to change operator, you now can no longer change the chip. So to do this, you have something called Remote SIM Provisioning. And you connect that eSIM to this Remote SIM Provisioning server, highly secure server, and it does a software operation onto your eSIM, which allows you to switch between operator speed at Sprint and Verizon or be at Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom or SingTel and Softbank. You can make that switch remotely. So this is Remote SIM Provisioning.

iSIM, we go one step further. If you put iSIM on the motherboard, you can also integrate this SIM inside another chip. This is like an SOC, a System on Chip. And the advantage there is that you cut power usage which you no longer need to power the SIM by itself, but also it becomes more secure and becomes a lot smaller. So that is kind of what we are doing kind of and have been innovating from Arm’s point of view is creating a enough building blocks to allow that SIM to be integrated into a radio chip. That’s brings a little benefit and we can talk it later on the podcast, if you want. So it's clear enough? Is it simple enough?

Erik: That's clear. Just to understand it sounds like the iSIM is superior from the perspective of costs, form factor, energy consumption, would it be the case where you would be using an iSIM when you have higher volumes build the automotive OEM that's planning millions of units and an eSIM for a construction equipment OEM that has maybe 1,000 units going out and need something that's not investing the time to integrate this, or what would be the reasons why you would use an eSIM as opposed to an iSIM?

Vincent: So, I think eSIM technology is a little older. So eSIM technology is more established. iSIM is just about coming out. First iSIM manufacturer which is Sony semiconductors, used to be called Altair and they've just come out with their chip about 6-7 months ago and published the first iSIM. We believe at the end of this year, we'll have two or three more manufacturers of iSIM.

But eSIM is out today, there are probably fundamentally 5, 6, 7 semiconductor makers that creates the chip and many different SIM makers that can give you eSIM. So today, it's very much about what is available in the market. Over time, we believe that an iSIM is probably about half the cost, but obviously, it needs to be integrated into the radio, and that will take a little bit of time. But once it's there, there's a lot of benefits of still using a standalone eSIM. There might be some benefits.

But eSIM could be a different security standard or different robustness. There are some choices. It can do the value versus the proposition point of view. But I think over time, we believe that eSIM will displace SIM and iSIM displays eSIM overtime, it's just what's coming and when different things are coming to market.

Erik: And how does Kigen fit into this? So are you designing the hardware specifications and then having a partner to manufacture? Or are you focused on the software and building the provisioning software on top of hardware that partners are manufacturing, where's your place in the value?

Vincent: Actually, we’re a part of Arm, Arm it's some hardware IP, which effectively is a security chip inside another chip that we call a Secure Enclave. This is the hardware IP. Arm offers this to our customers. Our competitors of Arm offer this to customers. What Kigen does is two things, we are doing the OS which is the SIM OS, which effectively is the layer of software on top of that hardware block as well as the secure server. The server we talked about remote SIM provisioning take very closely hand in hand.

And then we work with our radio partners main chip makers, also provisioning those chips. Because as a chip comes out of the factory, you have to insert some initial secrets, some initial keys which we are working with our customers to also make sure that happens. So the three parts are the OS, the initial keys, and then the management of this secure solution overtime, in our case, is all software.

Erik: Share with us a bit about the differentiation because from the consumer perspective, this is all hidden in the backend. So it's not the functionality that they'll be interacting with. But I assume it's also highly differentiated even if that's hidden from the end consumer. What are the key points where one solution might be superior to another point? What are the variables that you're competing on here?

Vincent: So I think now, if you look at Kigen itself, we probably have a head start about 18 months on our competitors. But the key thing for us it's about the iSIM. We believe that iSIM is so much better than eSIM or SIM, as well as being a fantastic standard for IoT security because we believe there's no great benefits. And some of the benefits are not very obvious. iSIM has one less chip, so you go from three chips in design to two chips, which is really maybe if you go further in integration, you could go to one chip, which is a form factor size advantage.

Now think about when Apple introduced the iPads, they took the mini disc, which is just coming out, and actually that form factor allowed them to do a completely different device, like the mp3 player that iPod was, is a completely different device and anything beforehand. So again, when you think about form factor going from three chips to maybe one chip, can really start driving different devices.

Secondly, is the power usage. We believe that's not the standby power, which is really important. If your device does nothing, but for a long time, it's 70-80% better in an iSIM for a classic SIM. And then the cost again, also about half from an eSIM to an iSIM, which makes it a hell of much more scalable for IoT because IoT is really important to make sure that we can reach many devices at a much lower cost points than you maybe do it in mobile phone.  

So those three main benefits really going to drive because if you think about low power, that means that you can have a device maybe on the battery for 10 years, really important what standby is. That’s really important for the device. When it's off, do not use too much power because otherwise it drains the battery. Again, the size give you smaller devices, which it’s really important and clearly, the cost gives you higher volume, gives you also into devices, maybe previously you didn't think about cellular, now you can start using cellular connectivity and these kind of levels of security.

Erik: I suppose if you're talking about an automobile, maybe a little bit less price sensitive and willing to pay for energy consumption is also not a significant issue there. But if you're talking about a lot of IoT devices that might be in the field and the form factor is critical, the battery life is critical, cost per unit is critical.

But is 5G relevant here? Because I suppose connectivity for these smaller devices which have very constrained battery capacity, people might be looking towards a lower or a Sigfox, kind of LP1, whereas cellular might not be, you know, historically a priority option there. For the iSIM, would you be looking at more of like a 3G connection, or would you be looking at a 5G connection? What would be the preferred cellular option with an iSIM?

Vincent: I'm not sure if there's actually a preferred cellular option, depends on the use case. Right now you have to go what kind of use cases are you talking about? If you're talking about an IoT device that has a very long battery life, it's only communicating a few bytes every month, then then clearly using something really low lightweights, I've got some of the Cat-M standards around 4G and 5G are probably really useful for that, compared to LoRaWAN, I think the benefits of the cellular standards is well understood.

It's easy to go to manufacturer once and deploy everywhere, was the thing that is also some of the things that IoT is a worldwide supply chain problem, how do we manufacture something to one country and deploy it in another country?

Going back to your cellular standards and the other thing that could be now you could use it 2G modem because it's cheap, it's available, and 2G might get switched off. And I was talking to a robot maker they were doing cleaning robots, and actually, they have a lot of analysis they do, they don't have to worry about the big battery because they’re anyway. And actually, they're doing massive amounts of data. So the more data you can get, the better.

So they were looking at high end 5G modems. And again, there can be benefits there from my overall cost, so there can going to be benefits form factor of how much space they have to fit these things in. So from iSIM point of view, it's very much driven by the use case and the additional things we can make available which sometimes might be a really low bandwidth modem which takes a very little bit of energy versus now the more higher advantage modems.

Erik: Let's dig a little bit more into the technology here maybe just as a starting point. Is this technology maturing at the pace of software or hardware? So what is the pace of change around this technology? What are the development cycles look like for you?

Vincent: It starts with hardware. Initially, you need to have that Secure Enclave, the security area on the chip, which is coming now what we have. Well, my answer is, started about six years ago in Arm. So it's taken a bit of time to get it into the hardware. But once it’s into the hardware, it becomes a software pace because once you have that really secure area, you can update a server, it becomes a software update, it becomes a SaaS model. The iSIM itself initially does security for the network, get onto the network.

But because the iSIM is so deeply integrated into the main system that allows to do other things as well, while it can do security for the whole system. And again, from that point of view, you can start adding features and security domains to the iSIM which allows you to do things like connection to the clouds, automatic enrollments by putting some of the cloud certificates on the iSIM, things like holes device security by building something called a Rule of Trust, which means that the iSIM signs, any software that arrives onto the device, that makes sure the software comes from a credible source.

And you can do more and more based upon what's really secure corner of your design. So initially, it starts with a hardware cycles. But once it's done, actually, it doesn't need much of updating, it doesn't need to be evolved much, we can start developing a software stack on top of it.

Erik: So, to some extent the nature of the SIM evolves or becomes a bit more complex in terms of the functionality that it provides. So you mentioned extending certain security into different areas of the device, and also cloud connectivity. Would you foresee if we look forward 3 years, 5 years, 10 years additional functionality accruing on the iSIM? Or is there some significant constraints around what type of functionality could be reasonable or from just a tradeoff perspective on the iSIM versus through other software embedded on the device?

Vincent: So obviously, there's very specialized on security. So, see, as your CryptoSafe on your chip, and the ability to manage that and use that CryptoSafe. So I think the functionality of the iSIM is very much around now what security services can we do and initial security services around getting onto the network like that's the SIM standards. But actually, the SIM standards is a java web standards.

And if you really think back 20 years ago, I'm not sure how old you are, but when the mobile phone came out, SIM was really trying to make a play for things like your address book and then even games on the same, so that's fundamental technology is there and has been there for a long time. The trouble with SIM is it never really took off because the SIM in that little mechanical tray on the side of your phone, that tray actually limited a lot. Because the power usage of the tray is quite high, the speed of the tray is quite slow because of electrical connectivity.

And once you go to iSIM, and you integrate it into the main SIM, that all disappears, and actually the functionality gets unleashed in our eyes. But very strongly focused on that now crypto security services, you want to keep that small, you want to make sure that there's not too much going on, because if you have to get a bigger and bigger system, that would not be good from a security point of view. So you want really keep it on why do I keep my digital keys? We have digital keys for your network or digital keys for your onboarding onto the cloud or digital keys for the rest of your system. So it's very much like a key management system onto your chip but highly defended, highly secure, and also managed by a remote server.

Erik: So it sounds like then a fairly horizontal solution in that the functionality it provides is going to be needed to some degree by every device, not a lot of specialized kind of vertical or use case oriented functionality. But you mentioned earlier that integration is necessary to some extent. What does that integration look like? Is it integration around a particular asset class, or is it specific to the model? Is it each OEM that wants to put out a new product is going to then devote some resources towards customizing the solution for that particular model?

Vincent: So the integration is integration into the other chips. But then the question is, how do you use it? It is a crypto-safe on the side of your device. And you can use it to store many secret secrets. And I think that is where the OEMs can differentiate or actually use this technology differently. Because one will put secrets on how to enroll into their clouds, someone will put secrets on how to enroll into any clouds. Others will put secrets on how do I make sure my software is well managed, highly secure, updatable? So there's many different things you can use a CryptoSafe for.

And I think that is where once you have that common plumbing inside every IoT device, it becomes a really well understood way of working with the IoT devices, then it allows the OEMs to use horizontal technology to start specializing vertically. Maybe it'd be nice to start talking a bit about use cases because it can also bring it a bit more to life.

Erik: Yeah, that'd be great if you can walk us through one.

Vincent: One is very public, so we'd like to talk about that and some of other are still development, so they're obviously a little bit more careful on the details. But one of the public ones is a smart striker. This is developed by Sony. The smart tracker is a very interesting innovative design. It's a circuit printed on plastic. So it's effectively a device it is completely made out of plastic, which is battery circuitry, is all printed on plastic. And the only one thing is you need one bit of silicon on chip. So they have one chip on that device.

This is a cellular connected smart label. You can put on this inside of us maybe a shipping container, or some high valuable commodity I think maybe a vaccine storage container, it can keep an eye on where are the devices, so where are the container is? If it's opened, if the sensors give you the right information, because it's all printed plastic, it's really important to not have too many components that aren't plastic.

The one component you can’t get away with is the main chip. And again, if you integrate the SIM into that, the radio into that actually becomes a really interesting use case on how to start tracking high value products around the world. It is good to know in higher and higher volume and clearly prices will come down and you can start pushing this into other areas too.

Erik: Maybe you can let me know if this is an interesting question or not. But the open seas remain a bit of a challenging area for tracking but also a critical area because so many goods moved through them and could potentially be damaged, some degradation along the way. There's been a lot of press recently around different satellite networks. Is iSIM also capable of communicating to satellites? But how does satellite fit into the connectivity solution here?

Vincent: Well, that's more the satellites more about the radio, the radio has certain capabilities. So if you wanted to communicate to a satellite, you'd have to use a satellite radio. Now I'm not an expert on satellite radios and their security. There's no reason they couldn't use similar technology as SIM because again, you need to have an initial key, you need to identify who you are. Clearly satellite communication is more difficult. It's more power-hungry, so that might not be a perfect use case for checking things around to sea, not impossible, I think it's more of a huge check boats or not the individual container by satellite.

But if you look at know what happened on the open seas, and if my vaccine exposed to a power outage or the vaccine needs to be cooled to a certain amount, it hasn't been cooled all that time. Or has seawater come into my container or has my container be shaken? Those things can be hooked up to smart trackers and the smart tracker can then analyze this. Not in real time, but maybe when they arrive in a port, say they ride to Rotterdam, they can connect to the cellular network, they can give a status of what's happened to my container, what's happened to buy products. Has it been inside the specifications? Or has maybe something gone wrong? So you [inaudible 25:38] maybe not real time, but when you come into a different port.

Using cellular technology has the advantage there. It doesn't matter where in the world you arrive, you'll still be able to communicate, and you don't have to put any special infrastructure in place. You can just use the cellular networks that are available there.

Erik: The market that you've been in the recent years, have you seen any shift in terms of how decisions are being made around what solution is used in terms of the hardware and also the software? Or is it the same basic group of stakeholders going through the same design process that it has been for the past 10-20 years? Have you seen a shift in terms of who your customer is within the organization and how they evaluate solutions?

Vincent: I think we have. If you're talking about 20 years, so it's probably quite a long time. I think we have seen a massive movement around the maker, movement which I find really interesting, small companies innovating. And we think that is really important. So this is why we are trying to standardize security for IoT onto iSIM because actually we believe that a lot of the innovation is going to come from smaller companies for agile startups that are finding new ways of solving problems. I'm sure that over time, it also gets developed by larger companies, but unleashing that innovation and a network of innovation is really important.

However, today, I feel as a consumer I trust large brands, especially all my security, and it's good for one sense that I can rely on my brand to update my mobile phone maybe. But when it comes to IoT, so much different solutions need to come to the table that we need to make sure that everybody has access to good technology and everybody has access to technology we trust. And security, obviously, is the basis of that.

So that's why we think that the same technology is really good because people understand that. I don't have to explain too much about why it's good because people don't realize that that's what they use for banking. And if you can make the whole of IoT start using that kind of foundation, it becomes much easier and we get more innovative companies coming to market with products we can trust and products we're happy to put on our network, or at least we are happy to start using. I think that is really important to unleash that wide community of innovators.

Erik: To what extent is the eSIM and then going forward the iSIM standardized across solution providers and telcos? Is there a set of widely adhered to standards, or is it still somewhat in flux?

Vincent: So the eSIM has been standardized for quite a while now to GMSA which is the mobile operator consortium, which is now extended to an industry consortium, has been centralizing that for the last 8-9 years, and then now they're coming to market. iSIM just been approved by the standards. So, iSIM is effectively a form factor change on eSIM and so the integration into the main chip.

So from that point of view, it's very similar to the eSIM, the standard is ready to go. And you're seeing in the markets more and more people coming out to this completely standard compliant products. Some of these things are on the way to standards, some of the things that the standard is demanding very high security levels, and some of these things we have to build the technology to actually reach those security levels. But even that's happening, and the security standard is getting more and more adhere to, which allows that interplay in the industry.

We're not completely there yet, but we are now very close to having many different parts work together, partly driven by the mobile phone companies, they are rolling eSIM out into their products that's going to be accepted around the world. That allows us to then push that same technology in a smaller iSIM form factor into IoT and start using that as a standard, which is really nice, and that's what allows you to plug and play. I create something in a table and I export it to Germany or to Canada, and I know I don't have to have a separate SKU. I can just do a software update with my secure server and make sure that I have the best connectivity, the best profile in country that my device requires.

Erik: I know there's a few providers out there of global SIMs for roaming for devices that a healthcare device or something that might be embedded and need to connect around the world. And I believe by understanding those are often SIMs that are connected to a plan that has coverage in 200 countries. The eSIM then would be a substitute for that. Is it possible to do basically automatic provisioning? So you show up in the airport and immediately your device connects to the applicable network, or how would that actually look in practice?

Vincent: So it depends a little bit, we have to move a little bit away from the consumer thinking. So in the consumer thinking, you would arrive with your mobile phone into a different country, and it we'll offer you these are the three options you have for data connectivity, feel free to select something. If you're M-M, if you're on a machine-to-machine communication, or IoT device, you probably want to do that now your company wants to decide that, you arrive in the Port of Rotterdam, and you have a plan which is suitable for Rotterdam, you have a server can update and make a look local profiles, instead of using roaming, you can use local profile, which is now better price.

But actually, some countries is actually mandatory, they're not allowed to roam forum for more than a month or like a hold date time you're not allowed to be permanent into a country and still roam. But also know if you look at the manufacturing, but if I create a chip module and the module into the device, the modules are like radio module put it into a device, it can be many different devices and can be owned by many different companies. But some of that connectivity needs to be built in from the start. Security needs to be built in from the start. So how do you make sure that even though the security is built in from the start, you can easily adjust it to the use case and to the company that eventually owns this product?

And again, this is where eSIM and iSIM come in with a remote sim provisioning that now supports that whole supply chain of creating a chip, putting it onto a module with its radio, putting the module into a device, and then device into a use case. I think that's very important to how do we go through that whole supply chain and make the industry work together?

Erik: I think the example that you gave us before, that was an eSIM example. I know iSIM is just kind of coming to market now. Do you have an example of an iSIM deployment that you'd be able to share with us and walk us through?

Vincent: So now that example of smart tracker was an iSIM example. Because the key thing there was they wanted one chip and the one chip needed to do the radio, the one chip need to do the application, and the one chip need to do the security. So that was an iSIM integrated example which is now in production, and is something that's actually really new trying in the field today.

But other examples as we are working with a water meter manufacturer, water meters are very useful if they can communicate: you don't have to go around to water meters to measure them. But water meters clearly don't always have an electricity supply, so it's very much about battery, and having significantly lower standby power is really important, so iSIM really useful there.

Another project we're working on at the moment is a medical tracker. Medical trackers is like a smartwatch, but then with more medical data. Again, battery life really important, but also form factor, smaller is better. And then last but not least, we're also doing in industrial chemical metering inside really hostile environments, keeping an eye on the chemical processes. Again, this is something where it's really useful to be able to deploy many, many sensors in many, many different places. And again, there's battery life considerations, but also size considerations where iSIM is playing a really good enabler of these use cases.

Erik: So it sounds like this is in production now, does that mean that if a company is interested in using iSIM that they're basically able to purchasing on the open market, or is it more of still a strategic pilot that they would be deploying for the next several months?

Vincent: Yeah. So on this pilot, so we're really looking at, okay, what are the use cases to be initially really wanted. We are working with Sony semiconductors and Merata as a module maker. And I'm sure that once it becomes generally available, they will make a lot of noise about this. And we have quite a lot of things in the media, we're talking about it and we should be demonstrating some of the solutions they have. And then obviously, we're working on some of those large examples to take that same technology and roll it out into those use cases as well.

Erik: Do you have a rough timeline, would we say, end of 2021, mid-2022 when this might be something that you can buy more off the shelf?

Vincent: Yeah, so towards the end of this year 21, I think you'll see more and more solutions. We know that a lot of two chip makers are coming to the markets this year. Then goes into the module makers, the module for chipmakers with the radio gets into module, those module makers should be towards the end of the year, early next year. So I think 2022 is when you'll see the real ramp. So when you actually have multiple modules with multiple suppliers offering you multiple different features, this in the next six months we are really excited to say this is about to take off.

Erik: Vincent, I think we've covered a fair bit of territory here. Is there anything that we didn't touch on that is critical for listeners to understand?

Vincent: No, I don't think so. I think we went really nicely around houses. To me, it is the key thing is now how do you enable trust in IoT devices? I think, using a SIM technology, it is well standardized, it is used by many different companies around the world. So there's lots of different suppliers. But also integrating it into iSIM actually gives you that ability to push this further and wider is really important. If people are interested and more than happy to reach out to me directly, I'm available on LinkedIn, and we're doing a lot of publication.

We would happily talk to anybody and see how we can adapt to their use case or how we can put them in touch with the people that are maybe currently under NDA doing lots of innovation around this and enabling these new use cases to market.

It feels really exciting to me. Now, we've been talking and working on IoT for the last 10-15 years, and we seeing more and more use cases coming to market. So it's really feels like we're starting that upward hockey stick when it comes to different things on how to make our lives better, how to make the world better and a more efficient place.

Erik: These are the critical improvements that make IoT something that's not just interesting, but that's to some extent, easy and affordable. And that's where we need to go now to see real impact. Just for the listeners, the website here is kigen.com. And as Vincent mentioned, you're welcome to reach out to him directly on LinkedIn. Vincent, thank you for taking the time to walk us through this today.

Vincent: Well, Erik, thank you so much for your interest and your interesting questions.

Erik: Thanks for tuning into another edition of the IoT spotlight podcast. If you find these conversations valuable, please leave us a comment and a five-star review. And if you'd like to share your company's story or recommend a speaker, please email us at team@IoTone.com. Finally, if you have an IoT research, strategy, or training initiative that you'd like to discuss, you can email me directly at erik.walenza@IoTone.com. Thank you.

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