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.

Custom mating PCB and Overmolded cable connector solution for Door Entry Security System

GCT's Custom connector and cable assembly for door entry security system

Technology for building automation continues to evolve and expand its reach across many control, monitoring and management functions.  Security/Access Control is one particular area where there has been continued growth in both commercial and consumer markets.

As the equipment itself becomes ever more sophisticated, GCT was approached by a leading manufacturer of door entry security systems to create a custom solution for one of its latest products.


The Challenge

The customer required a bespoke mating connector system but with several key design constraints.  For a start, there was a limited amount of space available for the connector solution as it had to fit inside a compact panel within the building’s cavity walls.  The solution itself required a secure connector locking mechanism to prevent from tampering in the field, along with sealed properties to make it dust and waterproof.  Due the nature of being handled within a tight space environment, a highly flexible cable was also imperative.


The Solution

Given the array of different requirements, the team at GCT innovatively developed the following items to provide a solution.  A custom 3×4 grid mating connector was designed to ensure fit within the space restrictions.  An overmolded cable connector soldered to the flexible cable was also designed constructed from two molds, an inner low pressure mold to hold solder joints in place and prevent blow through of the 2nd stage outer high pressure mold which also provided a perfect finish.

In addition, GCT designed a boxed PCB header with flexible latches which slots into the cable connector overmold to create a strong locking system.  By using two grades of nylon (66 and 9T) on the two separate insulator parts, this created the correct balance of strength and flexibility for the latches.  This also allowed the connector to be processed at a high temperature but retain flexibility for latching.

To meet the sealing requirements, the PCB header is totally enclosed to prevent any ingress from potting material.  By enveloping the entire header outer walls using an innovative design for the cable connector housing, GCT achieved complete ingress resistance tested to IP65 by the customer.

Completing the solution was the manufacture of a special 12 core cable to meet the customer’s cable flexibility needs.

This custom mating PCB and overmolded cable connector solution is one of many projects GCT has helped customers.  To find out more about GCT’s bespoke connector and cable capabilities and how we can help with your next project, please visit our cable assembly and custom board to board connector pages on