Intel’s new 5G modems are ready and expected to be in products by 2020

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 14-Nov-2018
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Intel’s new 5G modems are ready and expected to be in products by 2020
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5G has been a huge buzzword for the last two years, with Intel, Qualcomm and many other telecom industry big-names betting huge on its success. Each brand’s success would depend on who is able to make it to market first, and not in terms of final devices making it to consumers, but who’s able to deliver the 5G radio to OEMs faster. Intel says its new XMM 8160 5G modem is ready and will be released to manufacturers by the end of 2019.

The new XMM 8160 5G modem from Intel is a multi-mode radio chip optimized to provide 5G connectivity to a large variety of devices such as smartphones, PCs and even broadband access gateways. The modem supports a peak speed of 6gbps making it three to six times faster than current LTE modems. Additionally, the new chip will also support both standalone and non-standalone specifications for the 5G New Radio standard in addition to supporting legacy 4G, 3G and even 2G spectrums.

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Having the modem ready unfortunately does not equal success for Intel just yet. Qualcomm is also aggressively working on its Snapdragon X50 5G NR modems and is expected to make it to market around the same time as Intel. Intel has its work cut out though, given that Qualcomm already has 18 major smartphone manufacturers on board for its modem, while Intel, as of now, only seems to have Apple. Apple exclusively used Intel’s radios in the 2018 iPhone models, and given how the Cupertino company is locked in a heated legal battle with Qualcomm, Intel’s business seems secure for now.

5G is being heralded as the next big thing in the telecom industry, due to the technology’s capability of being used across a spectrum of use cases. Qualcomm, Intel and even Samsung have demoed smart-city concepts using their 5G technologies, which seem to show a very promising future, but whether this can be scaled to real life yet remains to be seen.

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