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Intel Penetrates China’s 5G and AI Markets


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 3:24 p.m. ET

Intel’s progress in fifth-generation technology

As Intel (INTC) is facing delays in its core CPU (central processing unit) market, it’s important for the company to secure a large share of the optical photonics market and other 5G (fifth-generation) and AI markets. At the Intel 5G Network Summit in China (FXI), the company revealed its 5G developments in the country.

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Intel’s 5G engagements 

Chinese mobile chipset maker UNISOC Technologies could use Intel’s 5G modems in its ROC1 applications processor, which powers global mid-tier Android smartphones. Intel is also set to deliver the 5G experience at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Ethernet switch maker H3C and Comba Telecom could use Intel’s FlexRAN 5G NR[1.new radio]-compliant solution for 5G. FlexRAN is a flexible and programmable platform for software-defined radio access networks.

5G and AI

Intel has partnered with Chinese Internet giant Baidu (BIDU) to set up an AI and 5G innovation lab focused on converged edge and cloud services. The lab aims to explore 5G applications in the IoT (Internet of Things), automotive, and entertainment markets. Tencent WeTest could use Intel’s Xeon server processors in its edge cloud gaming platform.

The Intel-Alibaba AI partnership

Intel has partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) for various AI applications, from cloud to edge computing. Intel is set to provide its AI hardware and software solutions for Alibaba’s new Joint Edge Computing Platform, which generates customized business insights from data collected at the edge using computer vision and AI.

Intel aims to create an ecosystem of hybrid cloud solutions for Alibaba’s cloud service, Apsara Stack, which includes big data, security, middleware, and IaaS (Internet-as-a-service). Intel would provide its immersive technology for OBS Cloud, Alibaba’s cloud broadcasting platform for the Olympics.

Alibaba and Intel aim to jointly explore 5G and edge computing solutions for V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communication and intelligent transportation. While Intel is penetrating China’s 5G and AI markets, the US-China trade war could pose a challenge in 5G deployment, which we’ll look at next.

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