Intel has released a 3G cellular modem with an integrated power amplifier that fits into a 300 mm2 footprint, claiming it is the smallest such chip. Dubbed the XMM 6255 the gear has a future as healthcare monitors and advertising.
Stefan Wolff, chief operating officer of R&D in Intel's Wireless Platform group, told EE Times that the 65 nm CMOS modem supports both 3G and 2G connections and an LTE modem would be a "logical next step" in Intel's IoT roadmap. The modem supports downlink speeds up to 7.2 Mbits/second and this low enough not to need two antennas which manufactures do not want to do at the moment because the production volumes are too small.
Intel's antenna approach not only decreases the size of the modem but also maximises network capacity and throughput by decreasing signal loss, he said. Intel did not release information on the modem's power specs or cost. The modem is currently shipping in modules from U-blox AG and Wolff said Intel has design wins with four other companies.