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Intel continues to insist it’s really good at 5G

Intel 5G modem

Chip giant Intel is hoping the announcement of a new family of 5G modems will convince everyone it’s not rubbish at mobile anymore.

The big reveal is the Intel XMM 8000 series, the company’s first family of 5G NR multi-mode commercial modems. The flagship chip is the XMM 8060, which apparently caters for every variety of 5G NR and legacy air interface you can imagine. It had first been mentioned at MWC earlier this year and won’t appear in devices until 2019, so it’s not immediately obvious why Intel is banging on about it now, but maybe the imminent 3GPP 5G standard freeze (see below) has something to do with it.

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

“Today’s wireless networks are the equivalent of data driving down a single-lane highway; tomorrow’s will need to serve as a multilane superhighway as data moves at warp speed with 5G networks,” said Sandra Rivera, GM of Intel’s Network Platforms Group. “Our roadmap progress shows how Intel is moving at gigabit speeds to help the industry create this superhighway and benefit from the speed, capacity and low latency that 5G promises.”

You can see Intel’s wireless roadmap for the next couple of years below. The company has been trying to be a significant player in mobile devices for decades. Its attempts to take on the ARM ecosystem and Qualcomm in particular in applications processors over the past decade failed conclusively and it’s determined to do better in the 5G era. On the datacenter side Intel is still very strongly positioned but it will take more than slick presentations to topple Qualcomm’s dominance on the modem side.

Intel 5G roadmap

3GPP 5G timeline

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