Qualcomm very recently unveiled Snapdragon X65 and X62 5G M.2 card reference designs to help OEM’s develop their own 5G modules for integration into PC’s and CPE’s.
But as one should have expected, more options are coming, and Intel have now announced their own “5G Solution 5000” 5G M.2 card for laptops at Computex 2021 in collaboration with MediaTek and Fibocom.
- Modem technologies – 5G NR, 4G LTE, 3D WCDMA
- Frequency bands – Sub 6GHz for global coverage
- Data throughput
- 5G NR – Up to 4.7 Gbps downlink; up to 1.25 Gbps uplink
- 4G LTE – Up to 1.6 Gbps Cat 19downlink; up to 150 Mbps uplink
- Built-in eSIM
- Host interface – PCIe Gen 3
- Dimensions – 30 x 52 x2.3 mm (M.2 card)
- Temperature Range – -10 to +55°C
The 5G module targets platforms built upon Intel Tiger Lake and Alder Lake processors. Fibocom FM350-GL performance looks similar to the Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 based M.2 card design and does not reach the 10 Gbps downlink from the Snapdragon X65 solution.
I’m old enough to remember when Intel was a silicon vendor, but for this particular solution, it appears to have turned into a software company with the module made by Fibocom, the modem firmware (and modem itself?) by MediaTek, while Intel is said to have developed the host software only, but at least it will work on Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux. As a side note, Fibocom also showcased FM350-GL module last October without mentioning Intel.
Acer, ASUS, and HP will be one of the first OEM’s to launch laptops based on Intel’s 5G Solution 5000 5G M.2 module later this year, and 30+ models are expected in 2022.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.