Is Intel's New Baseband Modem a Serious Threat to Qualcomm?

Chip giant Intel  (NASDAQ: INTC  ) is inching closer to mobile relevance with its first new multi-mode LTE baseband chip. Intel's previous offering lacked support for legacy networks, but the newest modem plays well with older cellular technologies. While the XMM 7160 is competitive in many ways, it's still a discrete chip trying to gain traction in a market that demands integrated offerings. Qualcomm  (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) remains the only vendor offering a fully integrated LTE solution in its Snapdragon processors, an advantage it has enjoyed for years. Intel knows it needs to integrate cellular connectivity to compete, but has yet to provide a firm timeline.

NVIDIA  (NASDAQ: NVDA  ) is also preparing to step into the integrated ring with the Tegra 4i next year. NVIDIA's Tegra business has suffered this year, as it's lacked integrated cellular connectivity, but NVIDIA has done a good job setting investor expectations. NVIDIA's current solution is to offer Tegra 4 combined with its Icera i500 modem, but CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has acknowledged that the market for discrete modems is quickly shrinking.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Intel's mobile ambitions with Jamal Carnette and Evan Niu, CFA.

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  • Report this Comment On November 03, 2013, at 9:52 AM, techy46 wrote:

    A little threat now but watch out when integrated at 14nm.

  • Report this Comment On November 03, 2013, at 4:36 PM, fearandgreed2005 wrote:

    If the market demands integrated offerings why does the iPhone use separate chips?

    It's because it depends on what segment of the market you are talking about. Why not get it right and talk about which segments demand integration and which don't.

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