Intel has shed light on their 5G NR (New Radio) modem lineup which is slated to be commercially available by 2019. The new multi-modal XMM 8000 series of 5G NR modems will support NSA (non-standalone) and SA (standalone) configurations of the 3GPP 5G protocol, mmWave (millimeter-wave) and sub-6 GHz bands along with existing legacy networks.
Before that, however, Intel will have the XMM 7660 which is an upgrade to the XMM 7650 in 2018. It will support the 3GPP Release 14 draft standard and can handle data rates of 1.6 Gbit/s.
Intel also mentioned that they were currently capable of making 5G calls over the 28 GHz band on the 5G modem XMM 7560 (codenamed Gold Ridge) that they had announced at CES 2017. Intel’s 3rd Gen 5G mobile trial platform, which was announced in September 2017, already has support for sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands. They were powered by Intel’s Altera and Stratix FPGA solutions and even Core i7 CPUs in certain solutions.
The XMM 8060 will support 2G, 3G, LTE, 5G protocols over mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands. Given Apple’s recent announcement to favour Intel modems over Qualcomm’s due to their recent patent dispute, we could very well expect to see the XMM 8060 in Apple’s iPhones, two years from now.
“Intel is committed to delivering leading 5G multi-mode modem technology and making sure the transition to 5G is smooth,” said Dr. Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group. “Our investments in a full portfolio of modem technologies and products are critical to achieving the vision of seamless 5G connectivity.”
“Today’s wireless networks are the equivalent of data driving down a single-lane highway; tomorrow’s will need to serve as a multilane superhighway as data moves at warp speed with 5G networks,” said Sandra Rivera, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group. “Our roadmap progress shows how Intel is moving at gigabit speeds to help the industry create this superhighway and benefit from the speed, capacity and low latency that 5G promises."