Earlier this year, Intel bowed out of the 5G space for smartphones, but the company has now announced that a new partnership with MediaTek will bring 5G connectivity to Intel-powered computers. Intel will be using MediaTek-built chips, but Intel is planning to lend a hand in defining the 5G solution spec and optimization to work efficiently with Intel’s own chips.
In addition to built-in solutions, the 5G chips from MediaTek will also be built into M.2 modules which means that current laptops could be upgraded to include 5G connectivity.
Since service providers are still n the beginning stages of building out their 5G networks, Intel and MediaTek are not planning to release the first devices from this new partnership until early 2021. Dell and HP were named by Intel as being among the first in line to use the new 5G solution, but we imagine Microsoft, Lenovo and others will be jumping on board as well.
MediaTek has slowly been carving out a larger slice of the 5G pie for itself. While Qualcomm may have gotten an early lead with its mmWave 5G implementations in smartphones and laptops, MediaTek has been pursuing mid and low-band 5G technology which should give devices powered by its 5G chips much better connectivity once service providers build out their networks. With the 5G era is still in its infancy, MediaTek and Intel seem to be positioned just right to take on the competition.