LONDON – Intel Corp. is making progress with its development of LTE modems but does not expect to have an integrated LTE modem and application processor until 2014, according to CEO Paul Otellini.
When asked specifically about integration of LTE modem circuitry with a
mobile application processor such as the Atom during an analysts' conference call held to discuss Intel's fourth quarter 2012 financial results, Otellini said: "In terms
of integrated solutions, you'll see higher levels of integration from us
During the call, Otellini said Intel was shipping a data-only mode LTE modem IC to customers and that a data-and-voice multimode modem would ship during the course of 2013. He added that he expects the first mobile phones with Intel supplied LTE capability to have launched early in 2014 at about the time of the Mobile World Congress.
The lack of an integrated baseband modem and processor for mobile applications puts Intel some way behind Qualcomm Inc. (San Diego), which already offers integrated LTE capability in its Snapdragon line of application processors. Other companies with chips that integrate the application processor with the baseband modem include Renesas Mobile with its MP6530 and ST-Ericsson NV with its NovaThor L8580 ModAp chip implemented in 28-nm fully-depleted silicon on insulator process technology.
Intel's wireless capabilities are largely derived from the company’s acquisition of the wireless business unit of Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) completed in January 2013.
Otellini said the former Infineon team is making good progress in LTE: "We believe we have a very competitive solution. The Infineon team is known for not necessarily being first to market, but being really good at engineering a very solid solution and being cost effective and cost competitive and I think that they are doing a very good job with respect to this product." He added that Intel has many of the technologies for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS location detection and near field communications in house and would offer levels of integration that make sense at the right time.
Intel (Infineon) did so, chip is called SMARTi4G.
Seems like too many people here didn't get it that Intel has a ready to go LTE, HSPA, ... solution just like the competitors, there's only no LTE integration into their App.Proc. available yet...
I remember when Intel set the standard for putting WiFi in portables, which changed the industry.
They tried it again with WiMax (do you remember the WiMax portables?) But, as with Sprint, they were too...early. The industry is now standardizing on LTE which came after WiMax.
The problem with LTE is that there are so many broadcasting bands of LTE (and more that will be converted to LTE later) and even two types of LTE (TD-LTE, FD-LTE). How do you make a chip that can handle all of the present and future broadcasting bands of LTE and advanced LTE?
I think it is a typical problem of many acquisitions in the communication space done by Intel over the past 20 years - none of them worked. The most similar example was DSPC that Intel bought 15 years ago and sold several years later to Marvel at half price. Intel will try to do the same here but it will be much tougher to find a buyer because the market changed and there are not so many potential interested parties (maybe none - see TI and Freescale efforts to divest their wireless activities and ST failing venture).