Intel and MediaTek team up to deliver 5G modems for PCs

The pair plans to deliver their first products as early as 2021.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Intel has announced it will be partnering with Taiwanese semiconductor company MediaTek to develop 5G modems for laptops, with plans to deliver the first products by early 2021.

Under the partnership, Intel will develop the necessary hardware and software specifications for the 5G PC modems, including the operating system host drivers, while MediaTek will be responsible for the development and manufacturing of the 5G modems.

"With this partnership, consumers will be able to browse, stream and game faster on their PCs, but we also expect them to innovate with 5G in ways we have not yet imagined," said MediaTek president Joe Chen.

According to the pair, Dell and HP will be among the first PC manufacturers to deliver laptops that will feature Intel and MediaTek's 5G modems.

In addition, the two companies said they are working with Fibocom to develop M.2 modules that will see the module vendor provide operator certification and regulatory support, as well manufacturer and distribute the 5G M.2 modules.

See also: Qualcomm's Wi-Fi 6 via 5G design will deliver better wireless home broadband (TechRepublic)

In April, Intel decided to exit the 5G phone modem business, which was sold to Apple in a $1 billion deal a few months later.

Intel said the decision to scrap its 5G phone modem business was because there was "no clear path to profitability and positive returns".

During CES 2019, Intel also announced its latest 5G and AI push as part of Project Athena, an innovation program with new industry specifications for laptops.

Intel said at the time that it expects the first devices using Project Athena to launch during the second half of 2019, with its innovation partners on the project including Dell, Google, HP, Samsung, Microsoft, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Innolux.

"Including 5G and artificial intelligence, Project Athena creates a path forward to accelerate laptop innovation," Intel said at CES.

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