New technologies, use cases, applications and user experiences are
front-and-center focus points for NXP. We are on a a constant search for new
ways to apply our expertise and innovate solutions to challenging problems.
This was how, in 2018, we saw the opportunity to bring our
and embedded secure element (SE) technologies together with the fledgling eSIM
or Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC). Thus, the race to create the
first fully-integrated eSIM was on.
Where It Started
Even before its first certification by GSMA in 2018, the concept of the eSIM
was already setting the industry’s imagination alight. It promised the
consumer an alternative (or end) to those hard-to-handle pieces of plastic
that could be easily dropped or lost. For mobile OEMs, it offered new freedom
in design, service and competitive edge. For NXP, it was an opportunity to
explore a growing market and build a new business by developing a unique
product. So, a team was established to spearhead the company’s efforts,
including Cyril Caillaud (now head of eSIM), Abu Ismail (product manager) and
later, Frank Oberhokamp.
OEMs are faced with a real-estate problem: PCB space is at a premium, and
anything that can reduce the amount of space required is going to get
attention. Breakthrough technologies in this industry can bring more design
freedom for increased functionality, or smaller form factors, or both. Though
this is still true today, back in 2018, it was a much more pressing issue.
Imagine then, the prospect of a single IC that could deliver NFC, a secure
element and an eSIM in one package.
NXP's monolothic eSIM solution with full range of secure NFC services.
NXP enables Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T with a highly integrated convergence
Explore the increased functionality enabled by the
NXP eSIM solution.
Jumping at Opportunities
“In 2017, NXP saw the opportunity to bring its NFC and embedded secure element
(SE) technologies together with the fledgling eSIM, the universal integrated
circuit card (UICC). This was the beginning of the race to create the first
fully integrated eSIM,” says Cyril Caillaud. At this time, NXP was not yet
working directly with telecoms. “So this was an entirely new space for us,”
“At the time, our focus was on developing our mobile wallet, the NFC-enabled
contactless convenient payment solution that was steadily gaining traction in
the market. How would this play out in parallel with other companies’ eSIM
development, and would our mobile wallet be negatively affected? We monitored
the market very closely and decided not to wait, choosing instead to develop
our own solution, that only we could offer.”
After entering the eSIM market in 2017 with a unique offering and pioneering
the “convergence chip” that would set the company apart, today NXP is a full
member of the Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA) and a GSMA member, with
GSMA-accredited production sites.
Cyril Caillaud speaks on many stages to drive the evangelization for
convergence eSIM solutions (Image Source:
“In 2022, NXP is tested compliant with more than 200 of the world’s MNOs.
When we started in 2019, that number was close to zero. Today, we have a
dedicated MNO team who work on the backend to test and validate eSIM
profiles. With the NXP GSMA-compliant technology, the world of the SIM card
has evolved beyond plastic. Which is great news for the environment too.
Around 20,000 tons of plastic is used each year for standard SIMs.”
Abu Ismail, product manager for the SN110 family.
Dimitri Warnez, Abu Ismail, Frank Oberhokamp, Cyril Caillaud
When Frank Oberhokamp joined the team in the beginning of 2020 as eUICC
product manager, he was impressed with what NXP brought to the table: "NXP was
offering a chip that used less space and less power with an ecosystem that
also included the operating system. With aligned hardware and software, NXP
was able to offer the highest grade of end-to-end security—a unique offer from
a single supplier—and it got the attention of the mobile OEMs," explains
Frank. With a growing team of engineers, the NXP portfolio of convergence
NXP enables the first HONOR flagship smartphone.
Learn more about the benefits of convergence eSIM in
about the first HONOR flagship smartphone.
In addition to cellular connectivity, the NXP's
SN110U, SN220N and their successors enable applications including secure mobile
transit, payment and smart access. It offers 400 kb of device memory and every
profile that is loaded onto the UICC takes around 50 kb. This provides plenty
of space for multiple mobile network operator (MNO) profiles, with remote SIM
provisioning and over-the-air updates.
Cyril Caillaud, Frank Oberhokamp, Abu Ismail, Dimitri Warnez
A Growing Energetic Team
The race to make the first convergence chip may be over, but new challenges to
innovate arrive every day. “We are interviewing,” says Cyril, "We're looking
for new people and ideas for the eSIM team. When I ask the candidates why they
want to move—to work with NXP—they remind me of our own accomplishments. They
tell me 'in less than four years, NXP has grown from not being in telecom to
grabbing Tier 1 OEMs. For that to happen it must be a fast-paced environment
with a positive spirit. That’s what I want to be part of.'"