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SIM Card Formats

Last Updated : 02 Oct, 2022
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Nowadays, everyone has mobile phone. People need sim card which is known as subscriber identity module cards or subscriber identification module card so that they are able to connect to mobile phones, make calls, send SMS, use internet connection, etc. 

Formats of SIM cards : 
SIM cards are available in 5 formats. These are: full SIM format, mini SIM format, micro SIM format, Nano SIM format or embedded SIM format. SIM cards have been made smaller due to need of making devices more compact. The formats mentioned below, do not represent functionality of SIM cards. SIM cards remain same irrespective of format in which they are represent. Format refers to and shapes and sizes, in which sim card is available, to be embedded in mobile phone or mobile device. 

  1. Full format SIM cards – 
    Full format SIM cards were introduced in 1991. This format is also known as 1FF (1st form factor) format. The length of card in this format is 85.6 millimeters or 3.37 inches. Width is 53.9 8 millimeters, whereas, thickness is 0.76 millimeters. First form factor cards are no longer in use in today‚Äôs world. Full format SIM card is size of debit card. 
  2. Mini SIM Cards – 
    The Mini SIM Card or 2nd form factor sim card was developed in 1996. It has dimensions, 25 x 15 x 0.76 millimeter. It has same functionality as that of 1FF SIM card, only difference is that its size is lesser. Most times, single full-size sim card contains removable Mini sim card, which can be removed from 1FF SIM card and used in device. 
  3. Micro SIM Cards – 
    Mobile phones became smaller and people needed more lightweight devices which resulted in introduction of micro SIM cards or 3FF sim cards. They were 15 millimeters in length, 12 millimeters in breadth, and 0.76 millimeters in thickness. The micro sim card was developed for being compatible with previous two versions that is 1FF and 2FF versions. They had same position of pins as that of 1FF and 2FF. The newer versions of mobile phones have smallest slot for sim cards. Due to same functionality offered by 3FF cards, 1FF and 2FF SIM cards could be cut out in shape of 3FF so that could be used as Micro sim card. 
  4. Nano SIM Cards – 
    Nano SIM Cards or 4FF SIM card was introduced in early 2012. It has 12.3 millimeters, 8.8 millimeters and 0.67 mm as length, breadth, and thickness respectively. They also retained position of pins in previous versions. They had border of isolating material for preventing itself from short circuits. It could be used in devices that support the 3FF by using adaptors. First device to ever use nano SIM was iPhone 5. 
  5. eSIM Cards – 
    eSIM Cards or embedded SIM cards were introduced in 2010. The dimensions being 6 millimeters, 5 millimeters, 0.65 millimeters for length, breadth, and thickness respectively. This type of SIM is Programmable and users can add or Remove Internet service providers or operators without interchanging or swapping SIM cards. Mobile to mobile (M2M) applications, which have no need to change SIM card, present perfect scenario to use eSIM Cards. They are used to increase reliability and security of SIM in such system. 

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