Intel introduces family of 5G NR multimode commercial modems

Intel 5G (Intel)
Intel's 5G Modem, announced at CES 2017, is now making calls over the 28 GHz band. (Intel)

Intel introduced the Intel XMM 8000 series, its family of 5G New Radio (5G NR) multimode commercial modems and said it has successfully completed a full end-to-end 5G call based on its early 5G silicon, the Intel 5G Modem.

Intel also said that the XMM 7560 modem unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 has achieved gigabit-class speeds. 

Announced at CES 2017, Intel’s early 5G silicon is already making calls over the 28 GHz band, according to Alex Quach, vice president of the Network Platforms Group and General Manager of 5G Strategy and Program Office.

Profound changes are taking place in networks in order for 5G to become a reality, he added. Intel has been a key contributor to the SDN/NFV ecosystem and it’s seen more than 160 NFV deployments across the world in 2017, and Quach said that will accelerate. The company has also been working with leading service providers around the world on fixed trials ahead of the rollout of 5G.

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The Intel XMM 8000 series represents Intel’s family of commercial 5G multimode modems, operating in both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave global spectrum bands. This series will enable a range of devices to connect to 5G networks—from PCs and phones to fixed wireless consumer premise equipment (CPE) and vehicles.

Intel said that its first commercial 5G modem, the XMM 8060, is capable of delivering multimode support for the full 5G nonstandalone and standalone NR, as well as various 2G, 3G (including CDMA) and 4G legacy modes. It’s expected to ship in commercial customer devices in mid-2019.

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Intel also announced the Intel XMM 7660 modem, which delivers Cat-19 capabilities and supports speeds up to 1.6 gigabits per second. The modem features advanced MIMO, carrier aggregation and support for a range of bands. It will ship in commercial devices in 2019.

Of course, it’s worth noting that Intel rival Qualcomm Technologies back in February cited as a key milestone its first successful 5G connection based on the NR work in 3GPP. The connection, which was completed using a 5G NR prototype system capable of operating at 3.3 GHz to 5.0 GHz, demonstrated how advanced 5G NR technologies can be used to efficiently achieve multigigabit-per-second data rates at significantly lower latency than today’s LTE networks. 

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