5G might not be just around the corner, but it's definitely starting to loom over the horizon. Last October, Qualcomm announced its first 5G modem, and now it's Intel's turn. Ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress, Intel has announced the 5G XMM 7560 modem along with a number of industry partnerships designed to accelerate the development of 5G technologies.
Intel claims that its XMM 7560 modem delivers gigabit speeds in a single unit that will work in markets around the world, thanks to its six-mode operation and a transceiver that supports up to 35 LTE bands. It's the first modem produced on Intel's 14-nm process, and it supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands. The modem supports downlink speeds exceeding 1 Gbps, and uplink speeds up to 225 Mbps. There's 4x4 MIMO support on tap, along with carrier downlink and uplink aggregation. The XMM 7560 will begin sampling in the first half of 2017, with production set to follow soon afterward.
It will take more than a modem to kickstart 5G deployments, however. Intel is participating in a number of initiatives to create an ecosystem for the emerging technology. Throughout 2016, Intel had been participating in 5G trials with a variety of service providers. The company partnered with Honeywell, General Electric, and the University of California Berkeley in 5GI² (5G Innovators Initiative), an open industry effort focused on exploring and testing 5G network connectivity. The first efforts of the iniative are focused on the Industrial Internet of Things. Intel has also been participating in 5G trials with companies like Ericsson and Nokia to help ensure interoperability.