Are 5G-compatible smartphones hitting our pockets earlier than expected? This could very well be a reality if Intel has its way of commercially launching its 5G modem by the second half of 2019. The chipboard manufacturer has now announced and accelerated the production of its XMM 8160 - a multimode modem developed to offer 5G wireless connectivity on a host of mobile devices including smartphones.
Announcing the XMM 8160, Intel stated that apart from comparatively faster speeds, it would be the modem’s single-chip multimode baseband capacity that is aimed at allowing original equipments manufacturers (OEM) to incorporate relatively smaller form factors on their devices.
“We are seeing great demand for the advanced feature set of the XMM 8160, such that we made a strategic decision to pull in the launch of this modem by half a year to deliver a leading 5G solution." stated Dr Cormac Conroy who is Corporate Vice-President and General Manager at Intel’s Communication and Devices Group, during the showcasing of the Intel 5G modem.
As far as allowing for 5G speeds are concerned, the Intel XMM 8160 5G Modem should support speeds up to 6 gigabits per second; thereby theoretically allowing for more transfer of data especially during downloads. Download speeds could go up to 6Gbps depending on how well a particular 5G Network is deployed.
That is not all. The Intel 5G modem also supports the older and existing network standards viz LTE, HSPA, and GSM; within its single chipset.
However, Intel states that device makers should ensure to offer backwards compatibility; such as from 5G to LTE; in case the former is not deployed in certain areas.
Now, this is important at a time when a host of smartphone makers are vying for the credit of having launched the first 5G compatible handset. At this point in time, rumour mills are hinting at a 2019 showcase for a possible OnePlus smartphone (before the alleged OnePlus 7) driven by the Snapdragon 8150 which itself is speculated to feature within a Snapdragon X50 5G modem.
Finally, Intel’s XMM 8160 is slated to be shipped towards the later part of 2019; thereby hinting at commercial launch of new 5G-enabled devices during the earlier part of 2020.