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Intel announced its first commercial 5G modem: Intel XMM 8060

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We are now at the end of 2017 and we have seen a global rollout of 4G LTE is nearly completed. Now, 5G will be the next big standard for mobile communications in the telecom industry. 5G is already making a buzz in the telecom industry since last year and many big companies already invested in the development of this technology.  Global leaders in the wireless industry like Qualcomm and Intel going head to head with this technology.

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Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem will be released next year but Intel is ready to take on Qualcomm with the announcement of its latest and greatest LTE chip, the XMM 7660. Intel has also announced XMM 8000 series, which is its first family of 5G new radio (5G NR) multi-mode commercial modems.

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The new Intel XMM 7660 is able to achieve a maximum download speed of 1.6Gbps. Whereas, Snapdragon 845 and Kirin 970’s cat18 LTE modem is only capable of 1Gbps download speed. So technically, Intel’s new modems will be the fastest one that will be present in future mobile devices.

Intel XMM 7660 and XMM 8060:

The Intel XMM 7660 supports LTE Advanced Pro for downlink up to Category 19 with speeds exceeding 1.6Gbps, compared to Category 16 in XMM 7560. It features advanced multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), carrier aggregation and a broad range of band support. Intel will ship XMM 7660 in early 2019.

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The Intel XMM 8060 is the company’s first commercial 5G modem, which makes it a competitor to Qualcomm’s X50 modem. The XMM 8060 supports 2G, 3G, and 5G along with legacy modes using both GSM and CDMA. The company will ship XMM 8060 in mid-2019 to support 5G deployment in 2020. Intel also says that they have already completed full end to end 5G calls over the 28GHz band.

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According to Intel, Wi-Fi would play an important role for mobile networks in the transition to 5G. Intel plans to commercialize gigabit Wi-Fi soon and also has plans to deliver the next generation of Wi-Fi – 802.11ax starting in 2018.

Intel-Apple Partnership?

Rumors that Apple is considering Intel’s 5G technology for the next iteration of iPhones. That means Apple will be eliminating Qualcomm chips from its 2018 iPhones and iPads.

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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a research note, said:

“We believe Intel will supply Apple with 70-80% or more of required baseband chips. 2018 iPhone models won’t only offer faster LTE transmission speed: We predict that at least one of the 2018 new iPhone models will support dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS). Unlike existing DSDS phones, which commonly support LTE+3G connections, we believe next-generation iPhone models will support LTE+LTE connections, in a bid to enhance the user experience.”

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