Apple has been rumoured to launch a 5G-enabled iPhone in 2020 and the modem will be provided by none other than Intel. Now, the chipset giant has officially announced the company’s first 5G multimode modem, the XMM 8160. According to Intel, the XMM 8160 5G modem will be produced sooner than originally expected.
This move, according to Intel, will allow manufacturers to test the 5G modem in advance before making the devices available in 2020. While Intel has not yet disclosed the names of manufacturers, many believe Apple has been working with the chip producer to incorporate Intel’s 5G modem in future iPhones.
Intel says the XMM 8160 5G multimode modem is optimised to provide 5G connectivity to devices like smartphones, PCs, and broadband access gateways. The company also notes that the modem will support peak speeds up to 6 gigabits per second, when it launches in the second half of 2019. The modem will support standalone and non-standalone modes, as well as 4G, 3G and 2G radios in a single chip.
“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,” Intel explained.
Intel has benefitted from Apple and Qualcomm’s multi-billion dollar patent dispute. The chipset company recently became the sole supplier of modem chips for Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup. Rumor has it that both the companies are working closely on 5G modems for the next-generation iPhones. Apparently, Intel is said to have thousands of engineers working on 5G technology to catch up to the competition. Intel competes with Qualcomm on 5G modem technology.
The first 5G smartphone is expected to hit the market in the first half of 2019. Qualcomm has a number of smartphone manufacturers onboard (HMD Global, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Asus, LG, etc) already that are committed using its X50 5G modem in their upcoming devices. Samsung and Huawei too are working on 5G-enabled chipsets.