Intel has announced the XMM 8160 5G multimode modem, which is expected to enable 5G support on iPhone in 2020. The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker has made the product available six months earlier than it was planned initially. The new modem will bring 5G connectivity to smartphones, PCs and broadband access gateways.
The semiconductor giant announced that the XMM 8160 5G modem will ship in the second half of 2019 and commercial devices using the modem will debut in the first half of 2019. This is in line with reports which claimed that Apple will launch its 5G-enabled iPhone in 2020 and will only be using Intel modems. Intel says the new 5G modem from the company will support peak speeds of up to 6Gbps when it becomes available next year.
The 5G modem will support standalone and non-standalone 5G NR deployments as well as 4G LTE, 3G and 2GB in a single chipset. It also supports millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum as well as frequencies between 600MHz and 6GHz for carriers worldwide. With its 5G modem, Intel joins Qualcomm, Huawei and Samsung, which have demonstrated their own 5G modems.
“The Intel XMM 8160 5G modem will enable device manufacturers to design smaller and more power-efficient devices. This can be achieved without the added complexity, power management and form factor adjustments of two separate modems for 5G and legacy connectivity, as will be introduced in early competing 5G modems,” the company said in a statement.
Back in September, Intel had announced its 5G solution will be used by both Nokia and Ericsson in the first series of 5G deployments globally. “We are seeing great demand for the advanced feature set of the XMM 8160, such that we made a strategic decision to pull in the launch of this modem by half a year to deliver a leading 5G solution,” said Dr Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group.
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5G is the next big chapter for device manufacturers, telecom equipment vendors and telecom service providers. With 5G roll out, consumers will be able to experience super fast data speeds on their palm and will be able to experience 4K streaming and seamless access to smart home devices. The major promise with 5G is lower latency and fast data speeds.
Verizon, the largest telecom operator in the US has already begun deploying wireless service using 5G network in some cities. It plans to expand the service to offer wireless connectivity early next year. AT&T and T-Mobile are also expected to 5G solutions sometime early next year. The first batch of smartphones with 5G connectivity are expected to launch at Mobile World Congress 2019 in February but they will rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 modem and not Intel’s XMM 8160 5G modem.