nano-SIM's flimsy form factor poised to frustrate fleshy-fingered phone users forever

Most of us feel the average Subscriber Identity Module card is too small for our sausage-like digits, device makers loathe giving up that amount of space to an oversized plastic rectangle. Efforts to slim it down have been underway for ages, which is why some smartphones come with a micro-SIM, the easy-to-hold outer rim chopped off to make space for bigger batteries inside your device and to ensure your greasy fingers get all over the metal contacts. Sadly, it's time to wave goodbye to the idea of operating a smartphone without electron-tweezers, thanks to Giesecke & Devrient's new nano-SIM. The German fathers of the technology have shrunk the whole operation down to a 12mm x 9mm rectangle that's a third smaller than the micro-SIM and 60 percent smaller than the classic model: and as if to show off, it's also 15 percent thinner, too. The company will be exhibiting the chips tomorrow in Paris and has already sent initial samples to smartphone makers, expecting ETSI to sign off on the standard by the end of 2011 -- assuming they've been able to pick theirs off the table.

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G&D Presents World's First Nano-SIM Card

Munich, November 11, 2011 – Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) presents the world's smallest SIM card: the nano-SIM. A third smaller than the micro-SIM, the nano-SIM enables manufacturers to produce devices that are even thinner and perform even better. This new development from G&D could be finding its way into the first mobile devices as early as next year.

Some 20 years on from producing the first ever SIM cards, G&D is leading the current trend towards smaller cards. At the CARTES & IDentification 2011 trade show in Paris, the Munich-based technology group is displaying the world's smallest SIM card to date.

Measuring approximately 12mm x 9mm, the nano-SIM is about 30 percent smaller than the micro-SIM. The thickness of the cards has been reduced by about 15 percent – a tremendous technical challenge. Compared to the SIM cards most widely used today, the nano-SIM is almost 60 percent smaller. It offers device manufacturers the crucial advantage of freeing up extra space for other mobile phone components, such as additional memory or larger batteries. And because nano-SIM cards are significantly smaller and thinner, they will also make it easier to create thinner devices.

Initial samples were made available by G&D to various mobile network operators for testing. The standardization of the nano-SIM is expected to be implemented through the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) by the end of the year.

Backward compatibility with older device models is ensured by an adapter solution that allows the nano-SIM to be integrated into all established mobile devices for universal use.

"The invention of the SIM card remains a milestone in the history of G&D. With the nano-SIM, we have shown how this development can move closer to perfection," claims Axel Deininger, Head of G&D's Secure Devices division.

G&D will be showcasing the nano-SIM at the CARTES & IDentification 2011 trade show from November 15 to 17 at stand 4 J 001.