Published in Mobiles

Intel releases its 5G plans

by on21 November 2017

XMM 8000 series in 2019

Last week Intel decided to talk a bit about its 5G plans, an announcement sparked by Qualcomm’s clear target to have 5G devices shipping in 2019 and the fact that the company showcased a phone factor 5G design.

Intel is ready to talk the talk and the 5G device is going to launch under the XMM 8000 umbrella. This is the company’s first 5G NR (New Radio) 3GPP official 5G standard multi-mode commercial modem. This implies that there might be more than just one solution, probably over the course of time.

The Intel XMM 8000 series is a family of commercial 5G multi-modem modems operating in both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave global spectrum bands. This series will enable a range of devices on networks from PCs and phones, to fixed wireless consumer premise equipment (CPE) and vehicles.

The first actual commercial device is called the Intel XMM 8060, capable of delivering multi-mode support for the full 5G non-standalone and standalone NR (New Radio 5G) This modem supports combinations of 2G, 3G bands (including CDMA) and 4G legacy modes. It is important to stress that fast 4G will be a fall back mechanism for 5G, so the better your 4G, better the overall 5G experience will be.

Intel XMM 8050 5G NR

Intel is planning to ship XMM 8060 in commercial customer devices in mid-2019 and it will be interesting to see if Intel can snap more customers with its 5G modem. Currently it only has Apple among the big vendors and, on the other hand, must fight heavyweights including Qualcomm and Samsung.

Intel points out that its "XMM 8060 will accelerate deployment of 5G-ready devices prior to anticipated broad deployment of 5G networks in 2020”.

Intel XMM 8060 5G modem

Customer devices in 2019 / 2020

This almost looks like Intel has just cut and pasted from Qualcomm's press release, as this is exactly what Qualcomm has been preaching for quite some time. Qualcomm wants to launch X50 in 2019 to have it ready for the massive 5G deployment in 2020.

Dr. Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group, said: “Intel is committed to delivering leading 5G multi-mode modem technology and making sure the transition to 5G is smooth. Our investments in a full portfolio of modem technologies and products are critical to achieving the vision of seamless 5G connectivity.”

It goes without saying that Dr. Cormac Conray is an ex-Qualcomm executive. Journalists are already speculating that Apple is working hard with Intel on its 5G devices, but most likely Apple will continue to dual source the modems for the time being. Apple is working with both parties as we speak on its future 5G enabled iPhone.

Last modified on 21 November 2017
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