Last week we learned that the first 5G iPhone is likely to use an Intel modem, and it could hit the stores in 2020. Rumours suggested that Intel was working on a precursor to the 8161 called the 8060. The company has now put these rumours to rest.
It announced on 12 November that its much awaited 5G modem, the Intel XMM 8160 modem will be released in the second half of 2019.
Intel said that the modem will "offer very clear improvements in power, size and scalability in a package that will be smaller than a US penny." It will come with support for the new standard for 5G New Radio, both standalone and non-standalone modes as well as 4G, 3G and 2G radios in a single chipset.
Intel XMM 8160 5G modem. Image: Intel
The launch was expected in 2020, but Intel says that it has accelerated the timing for the release of the modem by more than half a year.
The company claims that the Intel XMM 8160 5G modem will enable manufacturers of smartphones, PCs, design smaller and more power-efficient devices. It will also support download speeds up to 6 Gbps.
It isn't likely that we will see devices with the new XMM 8160 until 2020. Apple's 2020 iPhone will be one of them. In the past, Apple and Intel had a slight tension because of the "heat dissipation issues" that would raise the temperature and hinder the iPhone battery life. This, however, should not be a big enough reason for Apple to not consider Intel.
Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei, on the other hand, are expected to contain the 5G modem chips made by Qualcomm.