The battle of the mobile -chip giants has moved into a new phase. This week, Intel previewed its new LTE wireless data chipset and said it is on schedule for shipping later this month, potentially moving it into position to take on mobile giant Qualcomm.
The new chipset, the XMM7160, is designed for multimode 4G LTE, and Aicha Evans, vice president and general manager of Intel's wireless platforms R&D, confirmed in a press briefing this week that the product is on schedule. The market for 4G LTE devices is already huge, with about 1 billion LTE mobile phones shipping annually.
Evans told news media that data networking through LTE will deliver the first experience of Internet browsing for those people in the world whose only computing device is a phone. She added that LTE costs will not be low enough until African fishermen can afford network data access on their smartphones. That day will mean not only that fishermen benefit, but that the manufacturers have successfully penetrated the fast-growing emerging markets.
103 Megabits Down
The Intel executive also said that "this is the first time that anyone in the industry is rooting for us to succeed," so that Intel can provide a competitive balance to Qualcomm's dominating position.
In addition to simply offering data networking where it did not exist before, LTE can also provide smoother video playback, including high definition video, and better music streaming, gaming, downloads and other high-performance functions. Intel said its LTE chip can download data at 103 megabits per second in ideal conditions, and upload at 49 megabits per second -- a performance good enough to maintain three videoconferences simultaneously.
The XMM7160 is designed to handle 15 LTE bands, which could be a critical factor in its acceptance since there are more than 30 wireless spectrum bands across the globe. It also consumes 20 percent to 30 percent less power and is 12 percent smaller than comparable chips. (continued...)