With the 5G in full bloom and with all eyes on this future connection, it is normal that the various manufacturers of modems are investing their efforts in having their products prepared. Qualcomm, for example, already showed its X50 modem compatible with the 5G network, and now it is Intel that has just announced its alternative, the XMM 8160.
It is a modem for smartphones compatible with the 5G network, which, according to the company, is capable of reaching a peak speed of 6 Gbps.
Available in the second half of 2019, although with a view to 2020
The XMM 8160 is a multimode modem that supports the 5G New Radio (NR) standard, including SA and NSA modes, as well as 4G, 3G and 2G connections. This consists of a single chip, which, according to Intel, would allow manufacturers to design “smaller devices with lower power consumption”, something interesting considering that the 5G is also focused on the Internet of Things.
The XMM 8160 is compatible with the millimeter wave spectrum (mmWave) and subGHz 5G NR 6 GHz, including the FDD and TDD bands. In short, the bandwidth will range from 600 MHz to 6 GHz, thus being compatible with almost any network and, therefore, enabling the connection in any device that assembles it. This is a sine qua noncondition, since a smartphone, for example, must be able to connect to the 4G network if the 5G is not available in a certain area.
Intel says that its modem has support for operators worldwide, so, at least on paper, it should be compatible with any operator in the world. To leave doubts will have to wait until the first half of 2019, the date on which these chips will be released to the market, and even more to see them in action. Specifically, the manufacturer expects the first 5G ready commercial smartphones to reach the market in the first half of 2020.
That is home to the recent events related to the relationship between Apple and Qualcomm, which after breaking down left Intel as the only modem provider for the next iPhone. In fact, there has been talk that Apple will launch one or more iPhone compatible with the 5G network, so it is most likely the XMM 8160 modem they have built.