Semiconductor giant Intel has unveiled a new wireless product roadmap and range of 5G wireless modems in a bid to accelerate the development of 5G - and it plant its flag firmly on the map for next-generation mobile.
The company has unveiled a range of XMM 8000 series 5G new radio (5G NR) multi-mode commercial modems, which was introduced alongside an XMM 7600 LTE modem.
The company also revealed that it has completed a full, end-to-end 5G call based on its early 5G silicon.
Intel's unveilings come as both equipment makers and telecoms carriers test 5G technology. Earlier this week, for example, BT-owned EE claimed to have successfully achieved 2.4Gbps download speeds on a test 5G network, based on Huawei technology.
And Intel also claims to have achieved gigabit-class communication speeds with its Intel XMM 7560 modem, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 back in February.
Intel's 5G roadmap will be a core focus for the company over the next few years. The company's XMM 8000 series 5G modem technology will spear-head the company's efforts.
Operating on sub-6GHz and millimetre wave global spectrum bands, the company claims that the modems will enable everything from phones to IoT devices to driverless cars to be connected via 5G networks.
The Intel XMM 8060 is listed as the company's first 5G modem capable of delivering multi-mode support for devices. The company claims that it also offers backwards compatibility for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network. It is expected to ship from mid-2019.
For now, though, the Intel XMM 7660 is the company's latest LTE modem and delivers Cat-19 capabilities, as well as support for speeds of up to 1.6 gigabits per second. It sports multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), carrier aggregation and a range of band support.
The company has confirmed that the 5G modem is successfully making calls over 28GHz bands, and the Intel mobile Trial Platform is being used in 5G trials across the world.
Dr. Cormac Conroy, corporate vice president and general manager of the communication and devices group at Intel, said: "Intel is committed to delivering leading 5G multi-mode modem technology and making sure the transition to 5G is smooth.
"Our investments in a full portfolio of modem technologies and products are critical to achieving the vision of seamless 5G connectivity."
Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager of the network platforms group at Intel, said: "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."
Ravi Palepu, global head of telco solutions at Virtusa, suggested that "practically speaking, these benefits should mean 5G will not only enable users to do things like download a full HD movie in under 10 seconds, but also accommodate the huge volume of traffic expected to be created by the billions of devices that will connect to the IoT over the coming years."
If it fulfils its potential, he added, 5G customers should have the "perception of both limitless bandwidth and continuous availability".
On top of this, 5G ought to be more cost-effective for operators as it should reduce network energy usage by up to 90 per cent, he claimed.
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