Intel and MediaTek-powered 5G laptops coming in 2021

MediaTek partners with Intel for 5G laptop chips
Image: MediaTek

On Monday, Intel announced it had partnered with MediaTek to develop components for 5G enabled laptops. As part of the deal, the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker will provide the software and hardware specifications for the fifth-generation networking equipment. Conversely, the Taiwanese semiconductor company will develop and manufacture the modems themselves.

ZDNet reports the two corporations have secured component supply deals with Dell and HP. Intel and MediaTek expect the first wave of their 5G laptops to go on sale in 2021.

Why Intel and MediaTek Teamed Up

In 2016, Intel announced its intention to be a leading developer of mobile 5G modems. As the manufacturer of Apple’s wireless antennas, the company had a foothold in the sector. Moreover, the company had plans to work with LG, Nokia, and Verizon to make fifth-generation networking equipment.

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However, the chipmaker’s plans changed earlier this year when Apple inked a new modem supply agreement with Qualcomm. Subsequently, Intel decided to exit the 5G modem business and later sold its patents to its now-former client.  Nevertheless, the company didn’t give up its interest in making components for other 5G electronics.

Accordingly, Intel has partnered with MediaTek to facilitate its development of the 5G laptop market. For the personal computer semiconductor company, entering into a working relationship with the Taiwanese firm is its best option.

Qualcomm is still facing litigation regarding its unfavorable pricing practices. Besides, Huawei’s current conflicts with the United States government make a collaboration inadvisable. By working with MediaTek, Intel can pursue a lucrative new market affordably and without controversy.

The $3.5 Trillion Opportunity

While 5G is often talked about in terms of use with industrial equipment and municipal infrastructure, the technology has a host of consumer electronics applications. For instance, Qualcomm predicts 225 million fifth-generation handsets will be sold in 2020. Accordingly, manufacturers will likely move large quantities of laptops that offer WiFi quality connectivity on the go.

Indeed, Qualcomm forecasts consumer spending on 5G enabled electronics will reach $3.5 trillion by 2035.

According to Grand View Research, the global laptop market will reach $108.9 billion by 2025. The firm notes young people’s mounting interest in online gaming will drive the market’s growth. Moreover, the organization believes the segment will see strong sales in the Asian-Pacific area, the world’s largest online gaming market.

As Huawei has secured contracts to deploy 5G networks around that region and several others, the popularity of online gaming will grow unabated. Consequently, competitive gamers the world over will seek out Intel and MediaTek’s low latency, high-bandwidth hardware.