MediaTek unveils its first 5G laptop chips in partnership with Intel

The T700 5G modem can do standalone 5G calls.

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ANKARA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 26: Screens of a smart phone and a laptop display the logos of Intel, MediaTek and 5G technology in Ankara, Turkey on November 26, 2019. (Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Intel might not be building 5G modems on its own anymore, but its partnership with MediaTek is starting to bear fruit. The two companies have unveiled MediaTek’s T700 5G modem that’s designed to be used with next-generation Intel-powered laptops. For its part, Intel said it has been working on “system integration, validation and developing platform optimizations” for the 5G chip, as well as providing assistance for OEM partners.

MediaTek’s T700 modem supports Sub-6 5G tech, and the company said it has tested 5G standalone calls that don’t depend on a 4G LTE network. At the same time, however, the chipset also supports non-standalone Sub-6 5G networks that rely on a 4G network backup. MediaTek also promised that it’s “highly power efficient” so that it won’t drain your laptop if you’re surfing 5G or making calls.

Given the extra speed compared to LTE, 5G laptop modems will be a must-have for connected road warriors. Most of the 5G laptops announced so far, including Dell’s Latitude 9510 2-in1, HP’s Elite Dragonfly G2 and the Lenovo Flex 5G, use Qualcomm modems. Given Intel’s close partnership with MediaTek, however, many upcoming models might have MediaTek’s 5G modems instead.

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