Intel today announced the Intel XMM 8160 5G modem, a multimode modem optimized to provide 5G connectivity to devices like phones, PCs and broadband access gateways.
Intel has accelerated the timing of this modem by pulling in the launch by more than a half-year. The XMM 8160 5G will support peak speeds up to 6 gigabits per second, making it three to six times faster than the latest LTE modems available today. It will be available in the second half of 2019 and will deliver the features and experiences to accelerate 5G adoption.
Intel had its 5G modem, the XMM 8060 in the works but that part is now canceled. Instead it was replaced by the new and better XMM 8160 due in the second half of 2019.
The Intel XMM 8160 is a multimode modem, meaning it will support the new standard for 5G New Radio (NR), including standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes, as well as 4G, 3G and 2G legacy radios in a single chipset.
With single-chip multimode baseband capability, the Intel XMM 8160 5G modem will enable device manufacturers to design smaller and more power-efficient devices. This can be achieved without the added complexity, power management and form factor adjustments of two separate modems for 5G and legacy connectivity, as will be introduced in early competing 5G modems. Intel’s integrated multimode solution supports simultaneous connectivity (EN-DC) for LTE and 5G – critical as 5G mobile network devices must be backward compatible to 4G if 5G is not available at any moment or at any location.
The modem offers technology needed to support new millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum as well as sub 6 GHz 5G NR support (including FDD and TDD bands from 600 MHz to 6 GHz) and download speeds up to 6 Gbps.
The Intel XMM 8160 5G modem is expected to ship in the second half of 2019. Commercial devices using the Intel XMM 8160 5G modem including phones, PCs and broadband access gateways are expected to be available in the first half of 2020.
Meanwhile Qualcomm has functional production 5G silicon, antenna tuning hardware, envelope tracking, PMICs, and the rest that all fits in a phone form factor.