Intel speeds up its 5G modem plans

It's not going to let Qualcomm hold the lead for very long.

Intel isn't about to let Qualcomm claim a lengthy lead in 5G mobile chipsets. The company is stepping up the launch of a new 5G modem, the XMM 8160, by half a year. The wireless part is now due to arrive in the second half of 2019 and promises up to 6Gbps speeds for phones, PCs and home broadband. It supports LTE and earlier technologies, too, so device makers won't need to have two chips consuming extra space and battery life.

Don't expect to see finished products right away. While the modem is roughly a year out, the first products aren't expected until the first half of 2020. Those rumors of having to wait until 2020 for 5G phones with Intel chips still appear to have some degree of truth to them -- it's just that you'll see the first wave sooner than expected. For now, it's safe to presume that many (if not most) of the 5G devices you see in 2019 will have a Qualcomm chip under the hood.