Building the Foundation for a Better 5G

Intel Innovator: Minnie Ho, Senior Principal Engineer and Wireless Systems Architect

Minnie Ho
Minnie Ho, senior principal engineer and wireless systems architect at Intel, Minnie, played a role in the design of the Intel Mobile Trial Platform, a desktop-size rig that telecom operators worldwide use to advance 5G. (Photo Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)

How she’d describe her work to a 10-year-old: “I put together tiny computer parts, like how you’d assemble Lego bricks, that lets people and machines across the world connect with each other faster than ever before.” 

More: Read about all Intel Innovators

Advancing 5G, one customer at a time: Minnie, an expert in wireless technologies, was heavily involved in the design of the Intel® Mobile Trial Platform (MTP), a desktop-size rig that telecom operators worldwide use in the race to advance 5G. Much of the MTP’s baseband board – which takes up the largest footprint within the device – was designed by Minnie. “The third-generation of MTPs we’re using today gives Intel a strategic head start in rapidly developing and testing 5G with our partners, and allows us to gain credibility with these new customers, many of whom we’ve never worked with before,” Minnie says. The MTP greatly speeds up the time it takes telecom operators and equipment makers to run 5G tests without physically swapping out electronic components across different test configurations. It’s also the first 5G test vehicle to achieve industry-wide acceptance, and the first to meet upcoming new radio standards.

What is 5G? It’s a new wireless network technology that is engineered not just to link people, but to link an ever-increasing number of connected devices. You can think of 5G as a whole new approach to engineering wireless networks, in a way that will bring about much higher bandwidth at significantly lower latencies. “5G paves an exciting path to a new era of super-fast, always-connected wireless devices — in places we’ve never seen before, like inside a connected car, to smart factories and smart cities,” Minnie explains. That’s not all. Even watching videos will be a rush unlike anything you’ve felt before — imagine cheering your favorite basketball team, while watching the game in real time from your sofa, with 360-degree video streamed to a virtual reality headset. 5G technology promises to reshape today’s limited spectator experience.

When mum (doesn’t) always know best: Minnie had a deep love for math. Having won strings of math competitions in school, she wanted to pursue a math degree, but her mother disagreed. “My mum thought a career in math wouldn’t be the right fit, as it may not lead to promising careers upon graduation. So we reached a compromise, where I’d pursue engineering instead. Back then, mum thought an engineering degree might offer more job options than a math-based one.”

Technologist by day, Mozart by night: After entering an amateur piano competition last year and winning the individual category, Minnie ended up playing at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. “I entered the competition to encourage my 15-year-old son, who also signed up. I was more nervous than he was,” Minnie recalls with a laugh. “We both ended up winning our respective individual categories. Playing Mozart keeps my mind nimble, and helps sharpen both sides of my brain.”

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About Intel

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