Apple reportedly working with Intel With 5G Modems For Future iPhone

Yolanda Curtis
November 17, 2017

Indeed, the roll-out of the XMM 8060 is stipulated by Intel as coming ahead of the "anticipated broad deployment of 5G networks in 2020". The company is planning early prototypes of a new modem chip that it announced during the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. The XMM 8060 Modem isn't scheduled to appear in any devices until mid 2019 and the XMM 7660 Modem isn't expected until then either. But, Intel hasn't lifted their focus from the LTE networks yet, as the 5G networks might take some time to mature. Highlights include the introduction of the Intel® XMM™ 8000 series, Intel's first family of 5G new radio (5G NR) multi-mode commercial modems, and Intel's latest LTE modem, the Intel® XMM™ 7660. According to VP of Intel's 5G wing, Alex Quach, an advantage of having 5G in the picture is that the network carriers can optimize the same network for different category of devices including Internet of Things, phone service, enterprise service, and more. Apple first started using Intel modems for AT&T and T-Mobile customers with the launch of the iPhone 7.

Intel's 7560 4G modem chip
Intel's 7560 4G modem chip is due to arrive in phones going on sale in 2018. Intel

Unfortunately, if you're expecting your 2018 iPhone to come with these babies, then you can forget about it.

Apple is reportedly working closely with Intel to design a 5G modem chip for the next-generation iPhone models. Sources familiar with the matter told Fast Company that the goal of this project is to build a modem into a system-on-a-chip with Apple's A-series processor, GPU, and other iPhone components.

If this report is accurate, Intel may takeover Qualcomm's business with Apple. While Intel has lagged behind Qualcomm in modem technology, it purportedly has a small army numbering in the "multiple thousands" working on 5G.

Apple and Qualcomm are in heated legal battles globally, the iPhone maker is looking to move away from its reliance on Qualcomm for iPhone modems and bring its business to Intel. The initiative to provide the 5G modem for the iPhone is now considered a "must-win" for Intel. So, for Apple, the Intel-powered alternatives could be feasible, says Fast Company.

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