Intel's LTE chip set to put pressure on Qualcomm

Intel's new LTE chipset should help it close the gap on rival Qualcomm, but it still has some way to go.

Intel has been trailing behind Qualcomm when it comes to mobile devices, but a new 4G LTE should help to close the gap.

The new multimode XMM 7160 chipset, which is due out by the end of the month, will help bolster Intel's LTE offering, which currently consists of only a single-mode LTE chipset. Multimode LTE chipsets allow device users to skip across LTE bands as needed, and also to switch automatically from 4G to 3G or 2G when required.

Intel says that the XMM 7160 consumes 20 to 30 percent less power than chips by the competition, as well as being 12 percent smaller.

But Qualcomm still has an edge, since can offer LTE as an integrated option on its Snapdragon ships, while Intel's XMM 7160 is a discrete chip.

Intel has been demonstrating just how serious is has become about mobile over the past few months. Not only are its mobile Atom chips much better at doing more with less power, but the company also quietly acquired the Fujitsu's Arizona-based Semiconductor Wireless Products, a division specializing in LTE.

Intel is also rumored to be working on another chipset, called XMM 7260. This chipset, which is expected to ship during the first half of 2014, will offer support LTE-Advanced which will bring with it new features such as faster download/upload speeds and carrier aggregation.