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While Intel Aims to enter Mass-Production of 5G Modem Chips in Q2 2019 for iPhones, Sources think that 2020 is more Realistic

1 X cover Intel 5G image


Intel is reportedly to begin working on engineering projects that will enable mass-production of 5G modem chips with its collaborative partners in the second quarter of 2019, according to sources from Taiwan's IC backend service providers.


The collaborative engineering projects come after Intel highlighted its RF components for 5G modem chipsets at MWC 2019, said the sources.


Intel is gearing up efforts to compete with Qualcomm, or even MediaTek, for 5G modem chip orders from Apple for its next-generation iPhone devices, the sources noted.


However, judging from factors including heterogeneous integration, complexity of 5G modem chip design, and lengthy final test (FT) of relevant chips at packaging-level testing, sources indicate that it seems that Intel is unlikely to enter volume production of 5G modem chips until 2020.


Nevertheless, demand for Intel's modem chips for use in the Phone 8 and even iPhone 7 series will continue in the first half of 2019 as sales of the old-generation iPhones still remain robust, said the sources.


Taiwan's IC backend service providers are also conservative about business volume to be coming from the next-generation iPhone devices to be launched in 2019, said the sources.


if Intel was able to actually start 5G modem production and be ready for 2019 iPhones, it could be the surprise of the year. Keep your fingers crossed but don't hold your breath. 


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