Nano SIM connector facilitates ultra-secure data access

Nano SIM connector facilitates ultra-secure data access

In today’s ever-more connected society, authenticating identities and protecting data is essential to keep users safe and enable services in personal devices, connected objects, the cloud and in between.

Two-factor authentication plays a key role in such protection strategies, and can be implemented as an easy to use solution using advanced smart card technology. Certificate-based technology generates and stores credentials such as private keys, passwords, and digital certificates inside the protected environment of the smart card chip.

In one such solution, users must supply both their personal authenticator device and password to authenticate, providing a critical second level of security beyond simple passwords alone to protect valuable digital business resources.

This innovatively-designed two-factor authenticator solution comes in the form of a USB stick. GCT is similarly innovative, being the first to market with a nano SIM connector – a product which is now in full production. This motivated a leading player in data security technology to partner with GCT for their first mutual project, to integrate GCT’s SIM8051 into the USB authenticator where the Nano SIM connector facilitates ultra-secure data access. The companies worked together to cost down the connector for production.

The connector allows use of a SIM to hold certificates for encryption purposes. The SIM’s architecture and ciphering provides better security than conventional chip memory, as well as being more cost-effective. This use of a SIM for memory capacity rather than wireless capability is almost unique.

While being an economical solution, the SIM8051 offers a durability of 1,500 cycles, with an operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. The housing material is LCP with UL94V-0 flame retardant rating.

Connector production is backed by extensive international support. Dealing directly with the customer in two different locations – Europe for design and Asia for production, GCT’s local presence in these markets was also instrumental to the smooth running of the project.

Introducing Ally, GCT’s New Americas Sales Manager

Ally Bocchieri Americas Sales Manager GCT

We have a new addition to the team! Please join me in welcoming Ally Bocchieri, GCT’s New Americas Sales Manager.  This also means we have another opportunity for a Q&A session, here’s what was discussed:

Q1.  How are you settling into your new role at GCT? 

I am settling in very well thank you! There has been a lot to think about when considering a sales strategy for a geography as large as the Americas.  It is my goal to replicate and build on the successes I’ve had in California on a much larger scale.  I am excited to work with our customer base and to build strong relationships with our distribution partners.

Q2. Can you give us some background on your career to date?

I started in the industry selling passive components 20 years ago. My personality is such that I have always focused on the customer service side of sales and therefore I have chosen to only work for/with companies that see this as a priority. I moved to selling PCB’s ten years ago and built a manufacturers rep. firm in California that focuses on custom build to print commodities. I was introduced to GCT 3 years ago and their product line and business model fit perfectly with my other product lines and service philosophy.

Q3.  What skills and experience have you brought to the GCT team?

Selling is all about relationships and it is very important to identify when there is a fit and, sometimes more importantly, when there isn’t.  I believe it is vital to be upfront and honest with my customers at every turn. One opportunity is not something I am willing to put the entire relationship in jeopardy for.

Q4.  Are there any market and product trends do you see currently?

Wearables seem to be everywhere and across all industries: consumer, medical, military, communications, etc.  GCT have a broad and comprehensive product line up to facilitate this growth area, including microUSB/Type-C and SIM connectors and many more.

Q5.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

I love working with customers that have custom cable assembly and connector requirements.  I am not an engineer by training but appreciate any opportunity I can to learn more about my commodity. Custom products allow me to dig right into the technical side and learn something new.  GCT capabilities in this department are excellent which certainly helps.  You can find out more about custom cable assembly solutions here on the GCT website.

Stronger than your average Hinged Micro SIM Connector

You can be assured that all GCT products have undergone rigourous tests to guarantee product quality and reliability that is second to none.  It’s what our reputation is built on and long may it continue as we push the performance of our connectors and cable assemblies.

For one of our latest products, the SIM7200, this is no exception.  The hinged microSIM connector has been subject to various tests to prove how tough it really is.  If you don’t believe us, here’s the durability test video!

For a start, it is capable of over 5000 mating cycles, which includes the contact, hinge and locking mechanisms of the SIM connector.

Mechanical shock testing subjected the connector to a total of 18 shocks at 490m/s2 accelleration across 3 difference axis, further demonstrating strong resiliance to drops and knocks.

Additionally, vibration tests saw the connector with a SIM card inserted exposed to a total of 15 minutes vibration from 10 to 55 to 10Hz frequency at a 1.52mm amplitude.

These are just a few of the tests that the SIM7200 has completed and sucessfully passed in accordance to EIA standards, demonstrating why it is stronger than your average hinged micro SIM connector.  Full test details can be found on the Product Specification on our website here.

Here at GCT, we’re commitment to offer our customers high quality products that will meet their application requirements completely.  And when you need something a bit more customised, we can assist with that too – just get in touch and we will be more than happy to help on your next project.

SIM card dimension guide

SIM card dimensions and release dates

Here’s GCT guide to SIM card dimension and thicknesses.  We offer a large variety of SIM card connectors which accept the three main SIM card types.

Mini SIM, also known as 2ff or 2nd form factor was introduced in 1996 and has been the standard type for many years, there are a wide variety of connector products in the market, but with the emergence of Micro and Nano it’s now a mature product.

2003 saw the introduction of the Micro SIM card, also known as 3ff, or 3rd form factor. Micro SIM is the same thickness as Mini SIM at 0.76 mm, however it offers a much smaller overall package, the contact area remains exactly the same, but size is reduced by more than 50%.

Nano SIM was introduced in 2012 and is becoming more and more prevalent in the market. Nano SIM is also know as 4ff or 4th form factor.  It’s even smaller and thinner than Micro SIM, with a 108 mm footprint, vs. 180 mm for Micro. However it is very small and can be fiddly for end users to handle.  We see that Micro SIM has longevity in the market, as although smaller it is more easily handled by the end consumer.

Global Connector Technology offer connectors for every SIM card type, with a variety of different styles, such as push-pull, push-push and hinged.

Dual SIM connector saves PCB real estate

Increasingly customers in all markets are working to reduce the physical size of their products. In the Automotive track and trace market this is especially relevant when the tracking device is the first thing a thief would like to remove. Making tracking devices smaller enables them to be hidden more easily within the body of the car.

Often tracking units require two SIM cards to give mobile network redundancy, should one network have poor signal coverage another network picks up the tracking duties. GCT’s dual SIM connector SIM6050 enables mechanical engineers to place two SIM cards one on top of the other reducing the PCB space needed by 50%.  This is a popular product, used widely within the tracking industry.

SIM6050 dual SIM connector

SIM connector Push-Push with tiny 1.6mm profile

Push-Push SIM Connector

Global Connector Technology (GCT) are delighted to announce the release of SIM4065, a low profile SIM connector push-push suitable for 2FF mini, SIM cards.

Available in 8 contacts with a 1.60mm profile above the PCB, SIM4065 includes a SIM card detection switch in normally closed position, this allows electronic monitoring of card position.

Push-Push SIM card insertion and ejection functionality is often used in applications where the SIM card is accessed from outside of the equipment via a panel cutout.  For example in a smart energy metering hub, would alllow the consumer or service engineer to remove and replace the SIM card.

SIM4065 is rated for 5,000 SIM card mating cycles, making it suitable for heavy use applications where a long lie cycle is required.

Download PDF drawings, view and download 3D models and technical documentation at www.gct.co  

SIM4065 is stocked at our distributors Premier Farnell and Future Electronics, so you can pick it off the shelf quickly.  Follow the ‘distribution stock’ links on the GCT website to check stock in your territory.

GCT offer a wide range of SIM connectors, including Nano and Micro SIM variations, click here to see the whole range.   Micro SIM is also available in Push-Push type, click here to see SIM7150.

Connectors for the Smart Metering Industry

GCT-Smart-Metering-RGB-72dpi

Global Connector Technology offer a full package of connectors to smart metering customers, the focus is on board to board for in meter PCB connection, SIM card products to allow GSM module communcation and Flat Flexible connectors and cable for connecting PCB’s to a display.

A huge range of standard board to board products is complimented by custom product expertise, which allows simple modifications to board to board connectors all the way up to complete bespoke connector design.

Customers trust that GCT have the experience, skills and technical expertise to assist with design of custom board to board interconnects, for example we recently designed a bespoke connector to meet Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS).  We offer a high quality board to board products at an extremely competitive price, critically overall project cost often comes as a pleasant surprise, as tooling costs and volume thresholds for project acceptance are low compared to many brand named competitors.  You’re thinking, you would say that, wouldn’t you! Ask us to a quote and see for yourself.

SIM connectors come in three standard card sizes: Nano, Micro and Mini (know more commonly as ‘standard SIM’).  Choose between push-pull, push-push and hinged connector types depending on your design constraints. There are options for card detection too, for when your design needs to know that that the card is inserted.  Use the narrow your search functionality to find the perfect option for your design..

To speed up design downloadable drawings, 3D models and specifications are available at gct.co.

Call today to discuss design requirements, or see our custom board to board connector case studies.

Nano SIM Connector SIM8050 – Re-Engineered to 1.35mm Profile

Profile height is reduced to 1.35mm (.053″).  SIM8050 also offers the smallest SMT footprint size of any Nano SIM connector on the market at: 10.8mm x 12.20mm (.425” x .480”).

GCT Nano SIM8050 Reboot

SIM8050 now includes a protective full metal shell offering better protection from heat damage to the SIM card.  Improved card insertion and extraction allows for a better user experience, whilst maintaining excellent vibration and shock characteristics.

The connector is available as 6 contact push-pull type, cards are inserted and removed by hand. It’s suitable for 5,000 card insertion cycles and a card stop function allows the Nano SIM card to by plugged in one orientation only.

There are tray type Nano SIM connectors on the market, formed from a basic contact block and metal shells, which must be purchased separately. In addition to multiple reflow processes the customer must source a plastic tray to hold the SIM card in place, not a problem if you’re producing millions of handset or tablet units, more of an issue for medium volume requirements.

The socket accepts the 4th form factor Nano SIM card format. This format measures 12.3mm Length x 8.8mm Width x 0.67mm Thickness and maintains existing SIM contact arrangements.

The Nano SIM card reduces insulator length from 15mm, width from 12mm vs Micro SIM card insulators.  Card thickness is reduced from 0.76mm, which is the standard on Mini and Micro SIM cards.

This links to all the technical data you’ll need gct.co  alternatively Contact your local GCT office , we have expert SIM connector people available to talk to.

SIM8050 is in stock at our global distributors (Future Electronics, Newark/Farnell & Element 14) now!

New – Nano SIM Connector SIM8050 Push/Pull Type.

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GCT are delighted to be first to market with a Nano SIM connector.  SIM8050 is a 6 contact push-pull Nano SIM connector with 1.45mm low profile height, tiny 12.3mm x 11.0mm outline and card stop feature.  It’s suitable for 5,000 mating cycles with an operating temperature of -20°C to +80°C.

SIM8050 accepts the recently introduced new Nano SIM card format, Nano-SIM or 4FF (4th form factor) measures 12.3mm × 8.8mm × 0.67mm but maintains the existing 2FF and 3FF contact arrangements. Compared to Micro SIM a smaller area of isolating material remains around the Nano SIM contacts to avoid short circuits with the connector.  The 0.67 mm thickness of the Nano-SIM card is approx. 15% percent less than Mini/Micro SIM card thickness of 0.76mm.

SIM8050 drawing, product specification and 3D model are online now.  Samples available from your local GCT office now.  Newark/Farnell and Future Electronics are holding stock.

Other Nano SIM connector types (such as mid PCB mount type) are in development, please contact GCT to discuss your design requirements.

Contact your local sales office to register an interest.