LONDON – Intel Corp. is making progress with its development of LTE modems but does not expect to have an integrated LTE modem and application processor until 2014, according to CEO Paul Otellini.
When asked specifically about integration of LTE modem circuitry with a mobile application processor such as the Atom during an analysts' conference call held to discuss Intel's fourth quarter 2012 financial results, Otellini said: "In terms of integrated solutions, you'll see higher levels of integration from us next year."
During the call, Otellini said Intel was shipping a data-only mode LTE modem IC to customers and that a data-and-voice multimode modem would ship during the course of 2013. He added that he expects the first mobile phones with Intel supplied LTE capability to have launched early in 2014 at about the time of the Mobile World Congress.
The lack of an integrated baseband modem and processor for mobile applications puts Intel some way behind Qualcomm Inc. (San Diego), which already offers integrated LTE capability in its Snapdragon line of application processors. Other companies with chips that integrate the application processor with the baseband modem include Renesas Mobile with its MP6530 and ST-Ericsson NV with its NovaThor L8580 ModAp chip implemented in 28-nm fully-depleted silicon on insulator process technology.
Intel's wireless capabilities are largely derived from the company’s acquisition of the wireless business unit of Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) completed in January 2013.
Otellini said the former Infineon team is making good progress in LTE: "We believe we have a very competitive solution. The Infineon team is known for not necessarily being first to market, but being really good at engineering a very solid solution and being cost effective and cost competitive and I think that they are doing a very good job with respect to this product." He added that Intel has many of the technologies for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS location detection and near field communications in house and would offer levels of integration that make sense at the right time.
We've already been through this topic on this board - probably the identical post.
LTE is not necessary for Intel at this stage as Intel has aimed its smartphone products at emerging markets where 3G (not LTE) is the primary communications technology. This makes good business sense because martphone growth in developing markets is much faster than in the U.S. where growth has already begun to decline. Intel's LTE will be timed with other advancements it deems appropriate for the U.S. market.