Intel Corporation hopes to persuade its investors that the billions of dollars the company has poured into researching and developing 5G networking technology is about to pay off after it announced new chips and partnerships on Monday, reports Reuters.
Intel in 2011 acquired German modem maker Infineon to mark an entry into the wireless data business. And ever since then, the company – world’s second-largest chip maker by revenue has been supplying chips to Apple Inc, as its sole modern customer. Apple’s iPhones connect to mobile data networks using Intel modem chips.
However, the competitive modem business doesn’t yield as much profit as Intel is accustomed to making from its flagship processor chips which data centers and personal computers greatly depend on. Intel competes against many strong rivals like Qualcomm Inc and MediaTek Inc to make sales.
But Intel may have good news. Its future in 5G networks, which is expected to launch starting this year as a network much faster than the existing 4G network, will extend beyond supplying modems to phone manufacturers, Intel’s chief executive Bob Swan said.
The company plans to supply modems to manufacturers to enable them to connect industrial equipment, and to automobile companies for use in vehicles that require internet connections. By acquiring networking gear manufacturer Altera Inc in 2016, Intel plans to offer other chips, including processors and programmable chips, the CEO said.
We have been catching up for a while in the areas where investors have been afraid of. “Catching up, in their minds, means not making any money,” Swan said at Pale Alto, California during a press event that held a week before the MWC in Barcelona. “Now we’re at a stage where we believe we have products that are as good as anybody in the industry’s as we move into 5G.”
Intel on Monday in Barcelona announced that it has reached an agreement with network gear manufacturers to include Intel modem chips in their gateways and so-called modules that will be used for connecting industrial equipment to 5G networks. Intel mentioned Taiwan-based Arcadyan Technology Corp, GemTeck, wireless communication module and solution provider Fibocom Wireless Inc, and other networking gear manufactures.
The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker also unveiled new programmable chips that will rival Xilinx Inc that boosted its last quarter revenue from 5G deals.
Intel, which also disclosed reaching deals with ZTE Corp and Ericsson to use its processors in their 5G networking gears, also plans to sell variants of its processors to be used in 5G base stations. Fobicom has confirmed it will use a variant of Intel 5G model in its upcoming M 2 module called the FG100.
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