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Why Intel Is Eyeing 5G

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5G to boost FPGA adoption

One thing that would give Intel (INTC) the necessary boost in FPGA (field programmable gate array) demand is the 5G network, which would connect several devices simultaneously to the Internet with low latency.

This would give way to several AI (artificial intelligence) applications. According to Verizon Communications (VZ), SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network functions virtualization) would become two integral parts of 5G, increasing demand for FPGAs.

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The 5G deployment would boost demand not only for Intel’s FPGAs but also for its commodity processors used in IoT (internet of things) devices and Xeon Phi co-processors used in high-computing data centers. Given the strong growth opportunity presented by 5G, Intel is making efforts to expand the adoption of 5G new radio standards quickly in the telecom industry.

Intel has also announced its 5G Mobile Trial Platform to compete with and, if possible, stay ahead of Qualcomm (QCOM) in the 5G space.

Intel’s proposal to accelerate 5G deployment

To accelerate the deployment of 5G networks in the US, Intelsat and Intel have proposed a plan to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to monetize the spectrum. Under the proposal, satellite operators would identify areas where they can clear portions of the C-band (3700–4200 megahertz spectrum) for terrestrial 5G services.

Satellite operators would continue to own the spectrum, but they would auction off the right to use these frequencies to terrestrial companies. Instead of governments allocating these frequencies, the market itself would use these frequencies by paying a price.

This could reduce the time taken to make spectrum available from 13 years to one to three years. If this proposal is accepted, 5G networks might come to the US sooner than expected.

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