Intel says that it will be showcasing a 2-in-1 convertible PC -- in concept form -- that will demonstrate a live over-the-air 5G wireless connection. The company says that this demonstration will provide proof that it is getting closer to production-ready silicon that will enable 5G connectivity on production PCs starting in the second half of 2019.
But Intel isn't only focused on PCs; it will also have 5G solutions for smartphones, which is the category that will likely see the most widespread adoption of the next generation wireless standard. To this end, Intel inked a multi-year collaborative effort with China's Speadtrum to launch 5G smartphone platforms using the XMM 8000 series modem during the latter half of 2019.
"Our commitment to delivering 5G spans the work we do in the standards bodies, early tests and trials that give us critical learnings on technology implementation and commercial opportunities, and our investments in ecosystem enabling and hardware and software products," said Intel's Sandra Rivera.
"As we look to 5G commercialization in late 2019, focusing on the challenge to meet the demands of our data-centric world, you will see Intel and our partners working together to accelerate the pace of innovation and lead the market with new products, technologies, applications and experiences."
The first available 5G modem in Intel's next-generation portfolio will be the XMM 8060. The modem has backwards compatibility with 2G, 3G, and 4G "legacy" modes and includes both GSM and CDMA support. While Intel will begin shipping the modem by the middle of next year, the company doesn't expect widespread 5G deployments by wireless network operators until 2020.
Intel is also rumored to be Apple’s top pick to replace modems used by Qualcomm in its next-generation iPhone and iPad product lines. The two tech giants are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute and going Intel-exclusive would provide welcome relief for Apple. With this in mind, Apple has a vested interest in Intel’s 5G solutions.