Something to look forward to: Intel may have sold its 5G modem business to Apple back in July, but the company hasn't abandoned the market. Chipzilla has announced that it is teaming up with MediaTek to bring the Taiwanese firm's 5G modems to Intel-powered laptops.
When the Apple deal was officially announced, Intel said it was assessing its options when it came to 5G devices. Now, it has announced the partnership with MediaTek for the "development, certification and support of 5G modem solutions" for laptops.
The 5G modems will be based "in part" on MediaTek's Helio M70, found in its 5G SoC designed for smartphones. They will allow the always-connected laptops to access the 5G networks, which will be more widespread by the time the devices arrive.
Dell and HP have already signed on to create the machines, which are expected to launch in 2021. That date means Qualcomm is likely to get its 5G laptops to market first. At this year's Computex event, the company said it was partnering with Lenovo on Project Limitless, which features a second-generation X55 5G modem alongside Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx processor and is set to arrive sometime in 2020.
Back at this year's CES, Intel revealed Project Athena---a program to redesign laptops, giving them instant-start functionality, all-day battery life, fast charging, and, notably, blazing-fast connectivity, which suggests the partnership with MediaTek could be related to the initiative.
Intel and MediaTek also announced they are working with Fibocom to develop M.2 modules designed for Intel client platforms.