MediaTek's first 5G SoC slated for late 2019
Even though some parts of the world are already testing 5G networks, there are no 5G-comaptible phones as of yet on the market. However, many phonemakers are expected to launch 5G devices in 2019, and there is even word on 5G-enabled laptops and desktop PCs. As far as 5G modems are concerned, Samsung, Qualcomm and, more recently, MediaTek have announced their standalone chip solutions, while Huawei is struggling with the U.S. and Australian bans.
Speaking of MediaTek, the Taiwanese company is already pitching its M70 standalone 5G modems to Apple for upcoming iPhone models. Moreover, MediaTek plans to launch a 5G-enabled SoC in late 2019, and these should be integrated by Chinese OEMs throughout 2020. MediaTek CEO Cai Lixing claimes the company is ready to invest considerable resources into 5G chip development, and the R&D process will supersede any existing 4G IPs. MediaTek recently demonstrated a working 5G SoC prototype, which turned out to be on par with what Qualcomm and Samsung have in the pipeline.
MediaTek’s 5G-enabled mid-range SoCs will help emerging phone-makers considerably reduce integration costs. On the other hand, companies like Apple would most likely prefer a separate 5G modem that complements its proprietary technology like the A Bionic SoCs. PC and laptop OEMs can also benefit from integrating 5G modems instead of the more cumbersome gigabit NICs.