Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), the inventor of the SIM card for mobile phones, recently announced the world's smallest SIM card: the nano-SIM. A third smaller than the micro-SIM, the nano-SIM is said to enable manufacturers to produce devices that are even thinner and perform even better. According to G&D, this new development could be finding its way into the first mobile devices as early as next year. The new nano-SIM measures approximately 12 x 9 mm and is about 30 percent smaller than the micro-SIM. The thickness of the cards has been even reduced by about 15 % which sounds like a tremendous technical challenge.
Mini SIM vs. Micro SIM vs. Nano SIM
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.
However, even if the nano-SIM is 60 % smaller and more powerful than today's mini- and micro-SIMs, 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.
I wonder if this SIM card size will be now called 4FF? The micro-SIM was officially called 3FF which stood for "3rd Form Factor". Unfortunately, as of today G&D hasn't released any photos or renderings of the nano-SIM. However, if you are in Paris this week, G&D will be showcasing the nano-SIM at the CARTES & IDentification 2011 trade show.
Cheers ~ Arne