Apple's working with Intel for 5G iPhone

Isaac Cain
November 18, 2017

The next-gen of wireless communication is pegged to benefit users with multi-gigabit speed without any cables. The company said they are running trails in different parts of the world. 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.

Intel XMM 8060 is listed as the company's first 5G modem capable of delivering multi-mode support for devices. But, Intel hasn't lifted their focus from the LTE networks yet, as the 5G networks might take some time to mature. The company claims that it also offers backwards compatibility for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network. Finally, the Intel XMM 7560 modem unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 has achieved gigabit-class speeds.

Apple's flagship iPhone lineup will be getting a boost to LTE speeds next year, with an even bigger upgrade expected to hit Apple's smartphones in 2019 or 2020, according to several separate but related reports published this week.

Operating on sub-6GHz and millimetre wave global spectrum bands, the modems will allow everything from phones to driverless cars to be connected to 5G networks. According to FastCompany, Apple engineers are in talks with their Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) counterparts regarding early work on the 5G iPhone. Well, that needs to be correct considering how the Galaxy Note 8 burned iPhone X in recent LTE speed tests.

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Apparently, an anonymous "source with knowledge" has explained that Apple is "leaning heavily" toward Intel's 5G technology to be used in future iPhones and this news comes not long after Intel had announced that they has "successfully completed a full end-to-end development 5G call based on its early 5G silicon, a key milestone in its development". Sources told Fast Company that the end game was to place an Intel modem onto an integrated SoC which included the CPU and GPU.

Apple is reportedly working closely with Intel on a future iPhone with support for 5G wireless broadband. The initiative to provide the 5G modem for the iPhone is now considered a "must-win" for Intel. Apple uses a mix of suppliers - Intel and Qualcomm - to handle supply, and so that it's not exclusively reliant on one supplier.

While many people have demonstrated Qualcomm as an early leader in 5G technologies, the latest report says Qualcomm's technology will not be universally adopted by carriers.

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