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Technology Stocks : Qualcomm Moderated Thread - please read rules before posting
QCOM 114.52+2.1%3:59 PM EDT

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To: carranza2 who wrote (2929)9/9/2000 1:05:20 PM
From: Eric L  Read Replies (1) of 164541


<< not everyone is a techie >>

You got that right, said this sales and marketing type.

<< Would you mind translating the following terms for the illiterati? ... UIM, 32-bit RISC based ... CDMA Sim/UIM) >>

I'll give it a stab:

SIM = Subscriber Identity Module (SMG9 term for 2G GSM, ESMR, TDMA
UIM = Universal Identity Module (2.5G /3G SIM for all but CDMA)
USIM = Universal Subscriber Identity Module (2.5G/3G SIM)
R-UIM = Removable Universal Identity Module (CDMA SIM/UIM/USIM)
RISC = Reduced Instruction Set Computer (here applied to 32-bit CPU's).

To roam globally under 3G3 you use one of the above, and it must be removable, not a logical soldered in firmware equivalent, like in, I remove my SIM, borrow your phone, insert my SIM or whatever you call the gizzmo, and all calls on your phone are billed to my subscription, not yours and I can access my frequently dialed numbers (not yours) and use my own bookmarks, etc.

A SIM (or UIM/R-UIM) is a specific purpose microprocessor smart card (IC card) that has been a standard component of GSM since its inception. it is a mandatory component of 3G3. It is now used in ESMR, in PDC, and in VSAT, and shortly will be used in TDMA-EDGE, and in the near future it will be used in CDMA. A SIM (UIM/R-UIM)is required to authenticate to a GSM\GPRS\EDGE\UMTS network. A SIM is currently used in Globalstar phones in Europe and other countries where GSM dominates. The first CDMA SIM was used in the Vodafone, Newbury UK trials, in a modified Qualcomm 800 series handset.

A SIM like any IC card is based on a micro-processor specifically designed to be tamper-resistant, composed of:

* a Central Processing Unit
* Random Access Memory
* Read Only Memory, where the Operating System is stored
* Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory, where customized applications and data are stored.
* A crypto engine or cryptographic coprocessor for PKI algorithms
* I/O

SIM cards like all IC cards are the result of the process of embedding micro-controllers into a plastic component. The position of the electrical contacts, the electrical characteristics, and the mechanical resistance of the cards are all defined by the International Standard Organization (ISO 7816-1 to 4). The mechanical constraints limit the size of the micro-controller itself to ¼" x ¼". However, the power of the processor and the amount of memory made available increases over time.

Traditional SIM's (dimensions specified for 3GPP by SMG9 standards) come in 2 specified form factors today:

1. ID-1 format - is the same size as the credit cards in your wallet (specified by ISO-7610 specifications for financial transaction cards and ISO 7816 standards for IC cards). Dimensions are 54 mm (2.12") x 85 mm (3.35").

2. Plug-in format (is considerably smaller than the ID-1 format (but is actually punched or snapped out of the full size card body). Dimensions are 20.8 mm (.82") x 15 mm (.59"). It usually inserts inside a trap door in the handset. It is depicted here partially removed from the handset:

A third, even smaller form factor (for Dick Tracy watch stuff) is being considered.

Initially SIM cards had 8-bit processors, and today they use 16-bit.

Carriers using SIM card users want the capability to run downloaded Java applets for a variety of applications on a SIM. 16-bit processors are simply too slow to effectively run downloaded Java applets in full compliance with the Java Card 2.1 API.

0.25 µm and shortly 18 micron technology (Moores law stuff) is making this possible (where the smaller the number the more you can cram within a very small form factor).

Infineon is about to release the "88" Family of IC card controllers for SIM/UIM/R-UIM and other applications (Financial eg, like the American Express "Blue" card). If your into "Jaws" or "Fins" (Jimmy Buffett style) check here:

The "88" family (in its initial release has the following characteristics:

* 32-Bit RISC microcomputer in 0.25 µm CMOS technology with integrated security concept with Memory Management (MMU) & Protection Unit.

* 136 Kbytes of ROM for application programs, libraries and Device Drivers (typically a smartcard manufacturer like Gemplus, Schlumberger, Oberthur, writes a custom Operating System (OSs) "mask" for this ROM, but the "mask" (firmware code) is fully compliant with 3GGP/SMG9 standards.

* 64 Kbytes of EEPROM as program and data memory

* 8 Kbytes of RAM (scratch pad for computations) for local variables, buffer and stack.

* 1100-Bit Advanced Crypto Engine (ACE) for the PKI stuff providing
fast execution of public key crypto algorithms, optimized for RSA and Elliptic Curves with Key lengths up to 2048-bit and dedicated 700 bytes of Crypto-Coprocessor RAM

This will be the initial release (not sure it is sampling but possibly is).
Future releases will have more EEPROM (for more applications or to store more keys and digital certificates and probably we will see 0.18 µm technology employed.

STM (#2 in smart card silicon) will be releasing a very competitive product to Infineons and it will be "masked" by Bull and others.

EEPROM may well go to 1GB or more in the not too distant future some say).

Speaking of Infineon (where this conversation started), here is a current press release entitled "Oberthur Card Systems & Infineon Technologies Sign Supply Contract Worth 150 Million Euros For Chip Delivery In 2001"

Now if I haven't bored you too much yet there is more on the SIM/UIM/R-UIM here:

Message 12733052

... and on the R-UIM in CDMA here:

Message 13963091

Message 12778492

Now aren't you sorry you asked? <g>.

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