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Intel denies halting production of 5G modems following Apple snub

CHIPMAKER Intel has denied that it’s halted production of its 5G modems after being snubbed by Apple.

Earlier this week, Israeli website Calcalist claimed to have got its hands on internal comms from Intel that confirmed Apple’s plans not to use the firm’s 5G modems in its 2020 iDevice lineup. 

In the leaked comms, Intel execs said that, as a result of Apple’s snub, the company has stopped development of its 5G modem – codenamed Sunny Peak – given that Apple was expected to be the “main volume driver” for the chip.

The execs are said to have blamed Apple’s decision on “many factors” including the introduction of a faster WiGig (802.11ad) Wi-Fi standard, which brought “new and unanticipated challenges”, adding that the team working on the Sunny Peak modem will be redirected to other efforts.

Since, however, Intel has debunked the rumours and said it has no plans to halt production of its 5G modem chips. 

In a statement given to INQ, an Intel spokesperson said: Intel’s 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020. We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects. 

Intel hasn’t confirmed whether or not it’ll be supplying Apple with 5G hardware, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if it had been ditched, given that Apple is also said to be moving away from Intel chips in its Mac lineup in favour of its own custom ARM-based chips.

The first ARM-powered Macs are expected to show up in 2020, with Apple’s next-gen MacBook Pros set to arrive packing Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs.

If Apple has dumped Intel as its 5G modem supplier, recent reports claim MediaTek could be in the running for Apple’s 2020 business.

It was reported a few days ago that the Taiwanese chipmaker – which is reportedly supplying custom WiFi chips for the HomePod speaker – will have 5G modems on sale next year and is apparently positioning itself to get them shoved into iPhones.  µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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