Intel partners with Dell, Lenovo, and HP to build 5G-ready PCs

PCs with cellular connectivity inside are having a bit of a moment right now. On top of recent buzz around Qualcomm's Always Connected PCs, Intel is announcing this morning that it will collaborate with Dell, HP, and Lenovo to put its XMM 8000 family of 5G New Radio (5G NR) modems inside PCs running Windows. Intel will also work with Microsoft to further this effort. The company expects the first shipping products using this silicon to begin shipping in the second half of 2019.

Critically for Intel, those PCs will likely run Windows with its CPUs alongside its modems. Intel will preview a concept version of such a PC at Mobile World Congress next week. The company describes its preview system as a detachable 2-in-1 running an early 5G modem and an undisclosed eighth-generation Core i5 CPU. The blue team expects to demonstrate some of the potential of 5G and its progress on producing compatible modems by live-streaming video to a PC over a 5G network at the event.

5G wireless networking broadly promises higher bandwidth and much lower latency than current cellular technologies, though practical large-scale demonstrations of the next-generation wireless standard are still in the works. For its part, Intel expects that PCs are ideal to cope with the firehoses of wireless data that 5G might uncork, and it offers visions of untethered VR anywhere in the world, the ability to grab hundreds of megabytes of files in seconds from parking lots, and multiplayer gaming while in a moving vehicle as just some of the situations a 5G-ready PC might need to cope with. Considering the expected arrival date of Intel's 5G modems, however, that future remains a ways off.

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    • DavidC1
    • 2 years ago

    My internet service provider allows for 1TB of “data” per month and speeds of 150Mbps. We usually go 50% or more above that and they are fine with it. All for under $70 canadian dollars.

    If a mobile data service allows that, I can see these always-connected devices making sense. Until then,

    -Mobile data for emergencies
    -WiFi connected devices at home
    -Talk/Text for everything else, so I can get away with a $20 plan

    • benedict
    • 2 years ago

    This is the future of internet. Unless Elon Musk beats carrier operators to it. 5G is fast enough for 99% of all users and it’s only a matter of it becoming cheap enough to make cable broadband obsolete.

    Might not happen in the USA first, but in countries with real competition cellular internet will soon become as cheap as cable.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      The peak bandwidth is high enough, sure, but could 5G infrastructure deal with everyone using it as their main internet connection? Can it deal with every single household in a neighbourhood streaming 1080p or 4K video simultaneously at 8PM on a weeknight? Because that’s what the future of TV looks like.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      Elon Musk sells cars that most people can’t/aren’t willing to afford, and the company is in the red for most quarters. His space ventures are about launching cars into space.

      5G may be fast enough, but will it be plentiful enough? I may be able to download 1GB worth of files in 10 seconds or less, but what’s the point when data limits means I can exhaust that at 100GB? Or paying $1000/month for the service?

        • NTMBK
        • 2 years ago

        He also plans to launch (pun intended) a satellite internet service.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        It’s not just data limits, it’s latency too.

        A couple of weeks ago I was getting 40-45Mbit/s over 4G in the French Alps on my 5GB plan. That means I could have used my entire monthly data allowance in 15 minutes.

        The same speedtest site gave me a ping time of 40-100ms which is enough to mean that the connection cannot be used for anything realtime like gaming or VR, and the jitter will hurt VioP and video calls too – either with breakup or more lag thanks to a need for more buffering.

        The same test site (ookla) gives me a stable 35Mbit/8ms on my home FTTC and 1000/1ms on the work FTTP fibre connections.

    • Sahrin
    • 2 years ago

    So Intel is getting out of the x86 business to sell…modems. Hot.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 2 years ago

      Where did you read that bro?

      Did you get out of the reading business?

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]PCs with cellular connectivity inside are having a bit of a moment right now.[/quote<] According to who? Can't imagine anyone with a PC or laptop is in a hurry to spend money on this feature, and I can think of multiple demographics who would vocally object and spend effort avoiding always-on cellular connectivity. One of the best things about 4G connections is that they're typically metered so most applications and OSes use the 4G only when active and only when unmetered connections aren't available.

      • Shobai
      • 2 years ago

      You conflate ‘cellular connectivity’ with ‘always on cellular connectivity ‘.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    I’m unimpressed with Intel trying to sell 5G modems to extend its illegal CPU monopoly.

    I’m much more impressed with Qualcomm trying to sell CPUs to extend its totally legal 5G modem monopoly. Now that’s what I call innovation.

    • kvndoom
    • 2 years ago

    If it weren’t for the expensive and repressive mobile data policies in this country (where “unlimited” apparently is defined as 22 gigabytes) I’d be more excited about cellular Windows devices.

    We need more than just the modem technology; we need the means to use it to its full potential.

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