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Monday, September 11, 2017

Intel launches 5G development platform ahead of December standard

By Nick Flaherty at

Intel is launching a development kit for 5G new radio (NR), the wireless radio standard that will be the foundation of 5G. In December, the 5G non-standalone new radio (NR) standard will be finalized with a goal to accelerate commercial 5G trials and deployments while the final standalone 5G NR standard is being developed. 

The 5G Mobile Trial Platform (MTP) will begin to support the new non-standalone NR standard in December using a combination of its (formerly Altera) FPGAs and Intel Core processors, says Asha Keddy, the vice president for Client and Internet of Things Businesses and Systems Architecture, and general manager of Next Generation and Standards at Intel.

5G will be a key technology for industrial and IoT applications with low latency connections.

Intel's MTP includes a 5G 28GHz mmWave RFFE (Radio Frequency Front-End) and five Arria 10 FPGAs that can reach data rates up to 3Gbits/s at 100-800MHz bandwidth with 4×4 and 8×8 mmWave MIMO multiple antenna arrays.

The single chip RF IC supports 50MHz, 100MHz, 200MHz, 400MHz and 800MHz transmission and reception at bands from 3.3-4.2GHz to 28GHz with support for 4×4 MIMO sub-6GHz and 2×2 dual-polarization MIMO for mmWave bands. 

Keddy is planning to work with equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia and participating in trials with operators like AT&TKorea TelecomNTT Docomo and Verizon to take non-standalone NR out of the lab and begin testing it in real-world situations in a move to deploy commercial 5G services before 2020.

Now equipment makers can test interoperability with devices sooner, operators can take the platform into real-world situations earlier, and standards bodies can collect data for final specs faster. This will drive results into the full standalone 5G NR standard, which is expected at the end of 2018.

5G can happen only when the network, cloud and device come together into a powerful end-to-end 5G solution, says Keddy, which is where Intel sees its opportunity.

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