Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek is probably best known for making processors for smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks. But this year the company also introduced its first smartphone chip with an integrated 5G modem, and now the company has announced a partnership with Intel to bring 5G modems to Intel-powered laptop computers.
At least two major PC makers seem to be on board: Dell and HP are said to be planning to launch Intel/MediaTek laptops. But you’ll have to wait a little while to get your hands on one — rollout isn’t expected to begin until early 2021.
While MediaTek says its new 5G modems for laptops will be based on the company’s existing Helio M70 5G modem, it seems like it’ll take a little while to adapt that technology into a solution for laptop PCs.
Intel says it will “define a 5G solution specification focused on deployment in key laptop segments,” and “develop and validate platform-level hardware ans software integration, including OS host drivers,” while MediaTek will be responsible for developing the modem.
The two companies also then work with Fibocom to develop M.2 modules.
This announcements comes after Intel dropped plans to develop its own 5G chips in-house. Partnering with MediaTek could help Intel offer a solution for PC makers at a time when rival chip maker Qualcomm is not only offering 4G and 5G chips, but also whole system-on-a-chip solutions that can power Windows laptops and tablets like the new Surface Pro X.