I am trying to calculate the power consumption of a SIM card.

I found some SIM card working between 1.65V and 3.3V, but I did't succeed to find information about the current they draw.

Does anybody has idea about it ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ That depends a lot. The power consumption of a smart card in operation can really range from a few µA to multiple dozen mA. \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller May 30 '16 at 16:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ The currently valid standard is ISO/IEC 7816-3:2006 , if you want to read up on this. \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller May 30 '16 at 16:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, your question could use a lot more background information. There's actually a lot of openly available ETSI documents that define how SIM cards (and their UICC etc followers) behave logically; hence, there's a lot of devices that can already talk to SIM cards. If you, instead of asking something that is pretty much impossible to answer, asked about what you actually wanted to do, you might get better help. Google "XY problem" on why I'm saying this. \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller May 30 '16 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well what I want to do is simple: calculate the power consumption of a system awho is using a sim card via a gsm module. I need to calculate the power required to dimen a PMU, the problem is I have no information on the sim card which will be used in the system, hence i am looking at estimation. \$\endgroup\$ – user92481 May 30 '16 at 17:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user92481 - look at what the GSM module consumes while transmitting and the consumption of the SIM card itself will seem insignificant. Where energy consumed by the card could matter is in the total over time, but that depends so much on the interaction between the network and the software on the SIM, which is impossible to generalize - and a lot of such interaction will involve higher-consuming parts of the system than the card itself. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton May 30 '16 at 21:08

That depends on the mode and class the SIM is operated at. The electrical characteristics are defined in the ETSI TS 102 221. You'll find a copy online.

Class-A (4.5V to 5.5V) you have:

200µA in idle-state 200mA during operation

Class-B operation: (2.7V to 3.3V supply):

200µA in idle state 60mA during operation.

Class-C operation: (1.62V to 1.98V supply):

200µA in idle state 60mA during operation.

Note that the average current consumed by the SIM card is in practice much lower than the 200mA or 60mA figures. These are "just" the peak currents that a SIM card terminal must be able to supply during short bursts of a maximum duration of 400ns.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @user92481 no problem. I've designed a SIM-card terminal a few month ago so my memory was fresh and I knew exactly where to look-up the data. Btw, in theory applications on the SIM can request even more current. I don't know if this is done in practice though. In my design I opted for a maximum current of 80mA and only allow class B and C operation btw. \$\endgroup\$ – Nils Pipenbrinck May 30 '16 at 17:53

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