Menu
Intel puts mobile chip failures in its past with first speedy 5G modem

Intel puts mobile chip failures in its past with first speedy 5G modem

Intel will ship its first 5G modem to testers in the second half this year

Intel has a disastrous history with smartphones. It fumbled a chance to be in Apple's first iPhone, and then quit making its Atom smartphone chip to focus on modems.

But the company is now set to ship a groundbreaking modem that will deliver data transfer rates many times faster than most wired internet connections.

The chipmaker will start shipping its first 5G modem for testing in the second half this year. Beyond mobile devices, the modem could also be used in autonomous cars, servers, base stations, networking equipment, drones, robots, and other internet-of-things devices.

In name, 5G is the successor to 4G in today's mobile devices, but it's significantly faster and more versatile. It will combine multiple wireless high-speed and low-bandwidth technologies and enable communications across an array of spectrum bands. New 5G networks are expected to be deployed starting in 2020.

The Intel 5G Modem, as it's called, is designed to provide download speeds in excess of 5Gbps, which is five times faster than today's fastest 4G modem. It's also five times faster than Google Fiber, which offers speeds of up to 1Gbps.

But don't expect the modem to be installed in smartphones immediately. It will be used mainly for testing on 5G network deployments. It will also be used to test possible 5G applications, still being explored in areas like automotive tech.

The benefits of 5G are enormous. Download and upload speeds will go up for devices like drones, robots, smart devices, and industrial equipment. Faster networks will help autonomous cars intercommunicate over long distances about weather and road conditions. 

The technology will improve mobile health-care services, which need reliable connections for patient monitoring. It will also help IoT devices remain in constant contact with servers running analytics.

Intel believes as wireless becomes ubiquitous, there will be more opportunities to put its 5G modems in devices. The 5G Modem is a big move for Intel when its mobile chip future was in question after many false starts.

Intel's effort to put Atom chips into smartphones was a colossal failure, and the company wasted billions of dollars on the lost cause. Last year, it bailed out of the smartphone chip market and refocused on modems.

Apple will reportedly use Intel's 4G modems in its next iPhone, and that's a major win for the company. Apple also uses modems from Qualcomm, which is considered ahead of Intel in modem technology.

Qualcomm announced its first 5G modem, the Snapdragon X50, in October. Intel is slowly catching up, but Qualcomm also has the advantage by integrating high-speed modems inside its Snapdragon chips that power smartphones. Intel does not plan to offer Atom chips for smartphones anytime soon, though it has hinted that it could make such chips if opportunities arise.

Intel until now provided FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) that could be programmed to mimic modems. But the 5G Modem will be needed to obtain results from real-world testing.

The new 5G technology will be important for autonomous cars, which may make driving decisions by consulting remote servers to recognize objects, signs, and lights, said Kathy Winter, vice president and general manager of the automated driving division at Intel.

Intel also announced autonomous vehicle development kits ready for 5G at CES. Intel is also building an autonomous car with BMW and Mobileye that could be ready to hit the streets by 2021. It's possible that Intel will put its 5G modem in that car.

Intel's 5G Modem supports the sub-6GHz band, where cellular networks typically operate. It also supports the 28GHz millimeter-wave band, which should enable deployment trials in U.S., South Korea, and Japan, Intel said. The 28GHz band allows for faster data transfers and is expected to be used for 5G networks.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CES 2017

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments