Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

Intel Announces its First Commercial 5G Modem - the XMM 8060

Intel Announces its First Commercial 5G Modem - the XMM 8060

The company also revealed that it has completed a full, end-to-end 5G call based on its early 5G silicon.

Operating on sub-6GHz and millimetre wave global spectrum bands, the company claims that the modems will enable everything from phones to IoT devices to driverless cars to be connected via 5G networks.

Intel said that its first commercial 5G modem, the XMM 8060, is capable of delivering multimode support for the full 5G nonstandalone and standalone NR, as well as various 2G, 3G (including CDMA) and 4G legacy modes. Qualcomm announced its first 5G call a month ago. "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.

The Intel XMM 7480 LTE modem that powers some versions of this year's iPhones supports download speeds of up to 600 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 150 megabits per second.

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Kuo believes that the next year's iPhone lineup will feature Intel's XMM 7560 and Qualcomm's SDX20 LTE chips, which will offer significantly faster LTE speeds. Apple is now locked in a bitter legal argument with Qualcomm over the price it charges for the use of its patents in the iPhone, so it's no surprise that Apple is trying to shift supply away from Qualcomm as quickly as possible.

In October Qualcomm Technologies announced it achieved a 5G data connection on a 5G modem chipset for mobile devices.

According to AppleInsider, Intel's XMM 8060 chip for 5G networks will be available before the massive roll-out of 5G networks sometime in 2020. The company was years late in the integrated LTE modems game, and therefore it can not match Qualcomm in terms of the number of customer devices using its modems.

Intel XMM 7660 is Intel's latest LTE modem delivers Cat-19 capabilities and supports speeds up to 1.6 gigabits per second. The modem features advanced MIMO, carrier aggregation and support for a range of bands. Intel said This chip won't be available commercially, though, until mid-2019.

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Intel noted that its technology is used in dozens of 5G trials in the globe, which is a valuable learning experience for itself.

Intel also said that it will soon have a commercial gigabit Wi-Fi chip supporting the next-gen 802.11ax sometime in 2018.

Even if you don't care much whether Intel reclaims the consumer cachet it had when PCs ruled the tech industry, you might want to pay attention to this issue. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.

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