from the the-race-is-on dept.
2019 is shaping up to be a big year for 5G, and Intel — one of tech's biggest mobile players — has finally announced its plans for the next-generation network in the form of its new XMM 8160 5G modem. The XMM 8160 modem is set to be released to manufacturers sometime in the second half of 2019, with the first devices using the chip coming in early 2020.
Intel has big ambitions for the XMM 8160 5G. It envisions using it across phones, PCs, and broadband hubs, with peak speeds of up to 6 gigabits per second. The modem will support both the standalone and non-standalone specs for the 5G NR (New Radio) standard, as well as legacy support for 4G, 3G, and 2G networks all in one chipset. Additionally, Intel says that the modem will support both millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum as well as lower-band parts of the spectrum.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem will be available to device makers that want to introduce 5G support in 2019.
Apple is considering completely switching away from Qualcomm components, such as modems, in future iterations of the iPhone. Intel modems have already been used in some iPhones, and MediaTek is also under consideration:
Apple Inc has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm Inc, according to two people familiar with the matter. The change would affect iPhones released in the fall of 2018, but Apple could still change course before then, these people said. They declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.
The dispute stems from a change in supply arrangements under which Qualcomm has stopped providing some software for Apple to test its chips in its iPhone designs, one of the people told Reuters.
The two companies are locked in a multinational legal dispute over the Qualcomm's licensing terms to Apple.
Qualcomm told Reuters it is providing fully tested chips to Apple for iPhones. "We are committed to supporting Apple's new devices consistent with our support of all others in the industry," Qualcomm said in a statement.
Apple and other companies are suing Qualcomm over licensing fees. Apple has had similar hardware-level disputes with Samsung in the past. Apple designs its own ARM chips but has to have them manufactured by Samsung or TSMC.
Intel last week announced that its first commercial 5G modem, the XMM 8060, is now under development and will ship in a couple of years. As part of the announcement, the company reiterated its plans to offer a top-to-bottom XMM 8000 family of 5G modems for various applications, including smartphones, PCs, buildings and vehicles. In addition, the company announced its XMM 7660 Cat-19 LTE modem that supports download speeds of up to 1.6 Gbps, which will be available in 2019.
At present, Intel's 5G Mobile Trial Platform is used to test 5G technologies in different locations around the world. For example, one of such devices installed aboard the Tallink Silja Europa cruise ship is used to enable Internet connectivity to passengers while in port in Tallinn, Estonia, (where another 5G MTP is installed) and the nearby area. Meanwhile, Intel's 5G Modem for client applications is evolving as well. Intel said that devices powered by the silicon can now make calls over the 28 GHz band. The 5G MTP will be used for its purposes for a while and will even gain new capabilities over time, but the company is working on a family of commercial modems that will be used for mass applications sometimes in 2019 and onwards. The Intel XMM 8000-series multi-mode modems will operate in both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave global spectrum bands, combining support for existing and next-gen radios. Intel does detail the whole lineup two years before the launch but indicates that it will be able to address smartphones, PCs, vehicles, and fixed wireless consumer premise equipment (CPE).
Previously: ITU Defines "5G" as up to 20 Gbps, 2018 Olympics Demo Planned
5G Gets a Shot in the Arm From the FCC
3GPP Sets 2018 as Freeze Date for 5G Air Interfaces
5G Draft Technical Requirements Announced
Announced earlier this week, HP's Spectre Folio convertible notebook already looks remarkable due to its leather exterior. As it appears, the system is as impressive inside as it is on the outside, as it incorporates a custom Intel's Amber Lake-Y multi-chip-module that features an LTE modem.
According to a report from PC World, the internal design of the Spectre Folio PC convertible notebook was co-developed by HP and Intel engineers under Intel's Innovation Excellence Program, which is aimed at enabling PC makers to bring state-of-the-art designs to the market. The product uses a tiny, jointly-designed motherboard that measures only 12,000 mm2 and is based around a unique multi-chip module that carries Intel's Amber Lake-Y SoC, a PCH (platform controller hub), and Intel's Intel XMM 7560 LTE Advanced Pro Cat16/Cat 13 modem.
[...] Intel is not new to selling complete platforms comprised of a CPU, a chipset, and a communication module. Back in 2000s the company made a fortune selling its Centrino-branded sets containing the aforementioned elements. By selling multiple chips at once, Intel naturally increases its revenue, whereas system vendors ensure compatibility. Therefore, platform-level integration is a win-win for all parties. With that said, this is the first time we've seen Intel put a CPU, a PCH, and a cellular modem onto one multi-chip-module in this fashion. So this may be the start of a trend for the company.
Related: Apple Could Switch From Qualcomm to Intel and MediaTek for Modems
Intel Announces Development of 5G Modems (Due in 2019)
AMD Creates Quad-Core Zen SoC for Chinese Console Maker
ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance
The third annual Qualcomm Tech Summit has just started, and the first announcements from Day One have been made. To start this event, Qualcomm President Cristano Amon is sharing the company's vision for 2019, primarily around 5G networks and 5G enabled devices. The Tech Summit has a few surprises in store over the next couple of days, including the upcoming announcement of the company's first 5G mobile platform, Snapdragon 855.
[...] The 855-MP consists of two chips, the Snapdragon 855 chipset paired with the X50 modem capable of 5G connections. Qualcomm states that this will be the first mobile platform to support multi-gigabit 5G, along with all the potential that 5G entails.
Also disclosed were some of the chipset targets: the S855, according to Qualcomm, will have industry leading AI inside the chip as well as hardware to accelerate 'extended reality', such as virtual reality and augmented reality. Inside the S855 is Qualcomm's 5th generation multi-core AI-engine, which Qualcomm states will offer up to 3 times the AI performance of the S845 model. Also quoted was that the new S855 includes a separate Computer Vision (CV) image signaling processor, which the company states is an industry first, and will help to enhance computational photography and video capture features. Qualcomm also mentioned gaming, promising next-level gaming experiences to the next generation of premium flagship devices.
From the pictures, it seems obvious that the Snapdragon 855 chipset by itself supports 4G wireless connectivity, and 5G is enabled through the use of the X50 modem as a separate addition. This will add PCB space in mobile devices that previously only used internal modems, reducing volume for other components (such as battery). One would suspect that OEMs intend to offer 5G on only premium devices to begin with, which are often on the larger side of the mobile ecosystem to begin with[sic].
Also at The Verge.
Related: Intel Speeds Up Rollout of 5G Modems
Huawei is "open" to selling high-speed 5G chips and other silicon to rival smartphone maker Apple, marking a significant shift in the Chinese tech giant's thinking toward its own intellectual property.
The world's largest networking equipment maker has been in the consumer market for a relatively short amount of time with its own-brand smartphones, but it has quickly risen to become the third-largest vendor by market share.
Huawei started by selling phones at low prices but in recent years has shifted focus to increase its market share in the high end of the market, battling Apple and Samsung. As part of that move, Huawei has developed its own chips, including a modem to give smartphones 5G connectivity, and a processor to power its devices. 5G is next-generation mobile internet, which delivers data at very high speeds.
So far, those pieces of technology have been used only in Huawei's devices. That could change. In an interview with CNBC that aired Monday, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said the company would consider selling its 5G chips to Apple. "We are open to Apple in this regard," Ren said. The CEO spoke in Mandarin, which was translated into English by an official translator.
Apple products (e.g. new iPhones) are likely to use 5G modems from Intel, although they won't be ready until 2020. Huawei has been shunned by U.S. companies due to warnings and pressure from the U.S. government claiming that Huawei products enable Chinese espionage. There has even been discussion of the U.S. government developing a 5G network free of Chinese influence. Given that there aren't many places in the country where you can get a "5G" connection yet, is there any point to this offer?
Intel Announces Development of 5G Modems (Due in 2019)
U.S. Intelligence Agency Heads Warn Against Using Huawei and ZTE Products
New Law Bans U.S. Government from Buying Equipment from Chinese Telecom Giants ZTE and Huawei
Australia Bans China's Huawei (and maybe ZTE) from 5G Mobile Network Project
Intel Speeds Up Rollout of 5G Modems
Washington Asks Allies to Drop Huawei
Australian Residents Reject Huawei Small Cell Boxes
Germany and the EU Likely to Embrace Huawei, Rebuff the U.S.
EU to Drop Threat of Huawei Ban but Wants 5G Risks Monitored
Huawei's Equipment Poses 'Significant' Security Risks, UK Says
Back in April, Apple announced that it would cease all litigation against chip manufacturer Qualcomm and enter a new partnership with the company that will see Qualcomm modems installed in new crops of iPhones.
This information appears to suggest that without Apple as a partner, Intel has no need for its patents surrounding smartphone modems at all.
According to IAM, the Intel auction will see some 8,500 patents up for sale to the highest bidder.
Previously: Apple Could Switch From Qualcomm to Intel and MediaTek for Modems
Intel Speeds Up Rollout of 5G Modems
A Billion-Dollar Question: What Was Really Behind Qualcomm's Surprise Ten-Digit Gift to Apple?
Apple's Internal Hardware Team is Working on Modems Now
Intel and Qualcomm Announce 5G Modem Modules for M.2 Slots
Intel Quits 5G Modem Business Hours after Apple Settles with Qualcomm
Qualcomm Will Pocket Almost $5 Billion from Apple Settlement this Quarter
How Qualcomm Shook Down the Cell Phone Industry for Almost 20 Years