Chip Makers Working Hard on 5G

Carl Weinschenk

Chips, chipsets and related elements are the little engines that make new technologies go. There is news on that front as it relates to the emergence of 5G. Billions of dollars are on the table and the chipset sector is reacting accordingly.

Intel has created a 5G mobile trial platform that will be developed in accordance with evolving 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. The idea, according to ZDNet, is to enable collaboration between carriers, their ecosystems, and the standards bodies that are creating the world of 5G. Initially, the platform will accommodate new radio (NR) early interoperability. It will operate in six spectrum bands (600-900 MHz; 3.3-4.2 GHz; 4.4-4.9 GHz; 5.1-5.9 GHz; 28 GHz and 39 GHz).

The idea is to formulate answers far more quickly than previously was possible, an initiative that is seen as beneficial in a technology world that is moving very quickly:

The platform will test network-device NR interoperability while standards are being modified by the industry body, with the information it gains from such trials to be used in technology development.


The story says that in return, Intel will provide data to standards bodies.

Qualcomm is also actively planning for 5G. CNET reported that the company introduced the 9150 C-V2X chipset. It is LTE and 5G capable and is aimed at enable communications between vehicles and infrastructure, according to the story. It will be available for testing late next year and be in production in 2019. Audi and the PSA Group, which oversees Peugeot and Citroën, will test the chipset.

Intel and Qualcomm, of course, are exceedingly high-profile companies. Startup Movandi is at the other extreme of the spectrum. The company, which was founded by a brother and sister team, is offering BeamX. It is an RF front end that includes an antenna array and baseband interface targeting 28 GHz and 39 GHz 5G systems. It supports base stations and receivers and can be used in indoor Gigabit, fixed-wireless access and satellite networks scenarios, according to EE Times.

The company will sample 8- and 16-antenna modules for 28 GHz networks by year’s end and 39 GHz versions in early 2018. The goal is to provide better signal quality at lower power and therefore take market share from bigger companies that are further along in their development cycles.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


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