The 5G era is upon us, ushering in new opportunities for technology innovation across the computing and connectivity landscape. Intel is envisioning the impact 5G will deliver to businesses and consumers alike. Use cases such as autonomous vehicles, smart and connected cities, and enhanced sports viewing experiences will enrich the way we live, work and play. 5G will enable innovative service offerings unbounded by today’s infrastructure limitations and will spawn entire new industries.
Intel’s service provider customers are building the foundation for 5G and transforming their network infrastructure to take advantage of the flexibility, scalability and cost advantages of software defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). These technologies enable more seamlessly connected, powerful and intelligent 5G-ready networks to be deployed in the cloud, core and edge of the network. The delivery of greater bandwidth, lower latency and edge compute capabilities are essential for 5G use cases.
As we head to Mobile World Congress (MWC), Intel is working with industry partners and network operators to accelerate technology innovation across network, client and cloud. Our commitment to delivering 5G spans the work we do in the standards bodies, early tests and trials that give us critical learnings on technology implementation and commercial opportunities, and our investments in ecosystem enabling and hardware and software products. We have started 2018 at a sprint with new product introductions and industry collaborations in all of these areas.
Intel and industry partners are delivering innovative solutions for 5G with a foundation of Intel architecture, including the record-setting Intel Xeon Scalable platform and the recently announced Intel Xeon D-2100 system-on-chip (SOC) processor. The Xeon D-2100 extends the industry-leading capabilities of the Intel Xeon Scalable platform with power-efficient performance to meet the intensive compute, network and storage workloads demanded by 5G at the network edge. Together, this portfolio of products enables the processing, management, storage and delivery of data that continues to increase in our data-centric world.
New in the client space, collaborations with Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft will enable platforms to support 5G-connected PCs with the Intel XMM 8060 modem, the first of Intel’s XMM 8000 series of commercial 5G multimode modems.
At MWC, we will be showcasing the first 5G-enabled concept 2 in 1 with a live over-the-air 5G connection to demonstrate the progress we’ve made to integrate these advanced wireless technologies into the mobile PC platform. We expect the first wave of 5G-connected PCs to be introduced to the market in the second half of 2019, building on our strong history of mobile PC connectivity leadership dating back to the first connected PC with integrated Wi-Fi in Intel Centrino.
PCs, of course, are not the only clients that will be smart and connected in the 5G era. Many of the first devices on 5G networks will be phones. To expand our entry into the China phone ecosystem, Intel and Unigroup Spreadtrum & RDA have established a multiyear collaboration to develop a portfolio of 5G products for mobile platforms, combining Intel 5G modems with Spreadtrum application processor technology. We expect Spreadtrum to launch its first 5G smartphone platform featuring an Intel XMM 8000 series modem in the second half of 2019.
Our progress in delivering 5G to the world was on full display this month at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Far beyond the labs, Intel delivered with KT Corporation the world’s largest broad-scale 5G deployment to-date: 22 5G links at 10 sites around the Olympics, supporting 3,800 terabytes of network capacity. This deployment supported multiple applications, such as multi-angle image capture that allows viewers to see the action from multiple camera angles and athletes from 360 degrees – all in real time. In addition to this “time-slicing” and “multi-angle viewing,” we supported IPTV, virtual reality, 5G connected car and telemetry. And we successfully demonstrated multi-vendor interoperability with new services to thousands of spectators and visitors in several Olympic venues and public areas. This included live 5G links, real applications, field-tested and supporting gigabit speeds.
At MWC we’re demonstrating the first 5GNR interoperability publicly. This builds on our announcement last month with Deutsche Telecom and Huawei that we conducted the world’s first successful test showcasing 5G interoperability and development testing (IODT) based on the Release 15 NSA 5G NR specification. And we are continuing additional 5G NR trials this year, including collaborations with service providers and partners around the world.
As we look to 5G commercialization in late 2019, focusing on the challenge to meet the demands of our data-centric world, you will see Intel and our partners working together to accelerate the pace of innovation and lead the market with new products, technologies, applications and experiences. Please come visit us next week at MWC, where we’re excited to share more on our vision of the 5G future. See you in Barcelona.
Sandra L. Rivera is senior vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel Corporation.