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article imageIntel unveils new commercial 5G modems as it 'engages' with Apple

By James Walker     Nov 17, 2017 in Technology
Intel's unveiled a new range of commercial 5G modems to encourage the adoption of next-gen wireless technologies. Intel's also said to be collaborating with Apple on chips that could be installed in the next iPhone as its 5G strategy gets underway.
An article from Fast Company on Thursday evening reported Apple and Intel are actively "engaged" in a joint effort to put Intel modems inside a future iPhone. Apple wants to reduce its dependency on Qualcomm and Intel views its race to 5G hardware as a "must-win" effort. Although Qualcomm's 5G modems are currently considered superior to Intel's, the company is doing its utmost to catch up and win the next major contract from Apple.
Today, Intel announced its new range of XMM 8000-series commercial 5G modems. These are designed to offer cloud-ready virtualised networks to demanding clients, offering improved bandwidth and performance over 4G silicon. Intel also revealed it's successfully tested an end-to-end call on its 5G silicon, described as a "key milestone" in the development of the company's technology.
The new modems have multi-mode compatibility and are designed for use in a full spectrum of devices. Intel said that products ranging from fixed wireless equipment through to fully mobile vehicles could be equipped with the chips.
Intel 5G modem
Intel 5G modem
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The modems are also ready to use in smartphones, a sign of the company's intentions to dominate the next phase of the mobile era. After losing out on previous mobile technologies, Intel's determined not to let Qualcomm gain the same dominance in 5G as it has with LTE.
"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."
Apple's specifications for a 5G iPhone are said to include gigabit speed connectivity and a modem integrated into the system-on-chip package. The adaptability of Intel's products makes them well suited for the latter requirement. There's currently no indication of when the first handset might be ready to launch.
Bringing the first 5G consumer products to market will require a cross-industry collaborative effort to ready the new infrastructure. Service providers, chipmakers and device manufacturers will all need to widely support 5G before the technology can go mainstream. This is why 5G trials are already attracting so much attention as every participant in the mobile market readies itself for the shift.
More about Intel, 5G, Modems, connectivity, Mobile
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