Intel Unveils 5G Modem

Jan 07, 2017 06:30 AM EST | Jeroah Sabado


While many parts of the world don't have the 4G infrastructure completely working, Intel is already announcing a 5G modem in an advanced development stage. Intel confirms it will be ready for trial this year.

Intel has an unsuccessful history with smartphones. It missed a chance to be a part of Apple's first iPhone, so it stopped manufacturing an Atom smartphone chip to focus on modems instead.

Although Intel is not successful in some ways, the company is now set to ship an unprecedented modem that will give data transfer rates much faster than almost every wired internet connections in the world. The chip giant is about to hit the reset button as the wireless industry transitions from 4G LTE and 4G LTE Advanced to 5G technologies, with goals to position itself as a leader rather than a follower.

According to Intel, the modem can be used anywhere in the world because its chip supports millimeter-wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz spectrum bands. The modem is also incorporated with Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO), beam-forming technology, and advanced channel coding. MIMO sends multiple data at the same time. It allows users to have peak performances simultaneously, while the beam-forming technology uses antenna to steer a beam to where a user is.

5G is the successor to 4G, and it's obviously faster and more versatile. It is a combination of multiple wireless high-speed and low-bandwidth technologies, and will enable communication across an array of wide range bands.

Intel will begin shipping its first 5G modem for testing in the second half this year. Beyond mobile connection, Intel's 5G modem is also compatible with autonomous cars, drones, robots, servers, base stations, networking equipment, and other internet-of-things devices.

Intel's 5G modem can support over 5Gbps of speed and ultra-low latency. Intel is expecting it to be used initially in mobiles, home broadband, and automotive industries.

American carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, are already building its 5G networks, but Intel is expected to dominate. Intel said its 5G modem managed to reach 14Gbps during its lab tests.

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