Intel to Auction Off Modem IP and Patents

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Intel is planning to auction off its portfolio of patents related to cellular wireless connectivity, according to a new report from IAM.

    Intel's upcoming auction follows the company's April decision to exit the 5G smartphone modem business. Intel stopped work on 5G modem technology after Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement and a supply agreement that will see Qualcomm providing 5G modem chips for future iPhones.

    [​IMG]

    Multiple rumors have suggested Apple and Intel have held talks about Apple's potential purchase of Intel's German modem unit. The two were in talks as early as this month, with Intel planning to sell its modem business off in pieces.

    Intel is aiming to sell off 8,500 assets from its patent portfolio, including 6,000 patents related to 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular standards and an additional 1,700 patents on wireless implementation technologies.

    The auction that Intel has planned is separate from its efforts to sell its smartphone modem business, though IAM speculates that an interested buyer could potentially pick up both. It's also possible that a group of companies could band together to purchase the patents that are up for grabs.
    Should Apple purchase either Intel's patent business, Intel's patents, or both, it would give the Cupertino company a leg up in its own mobile chip development. Apple is working on creating its own line of modem chips to reduce reliance on suppliers like Qualcomm, but it will be several years yet before Apple's own chips are ready to be used in iPhones and other devices.

    Article Link: Intel to Auction Off Modem IP and Patents
     
  2. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    Kinda odd to include the 5G Intel modem picture above, Intels Logo would do, there won't be an Intel 5G modem.
     
  3. mozumder macrumors 6502a

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    This won't end well for anyone if a patent troll picks them up.
     
  4. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    Or worse, Qualcomm;)
     
  5. Cosmosent macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    RE: "but it will be several years yet before Apple's own chips are ready to be used in iPhones and other devices."

    That should really read "but it will be several years yet (& NO guarantee)".

    The odds that Apple is ever successful with a competitive cellular modem chip is ONLY 1/3 "best case".

    1/3 chance they Fail out-right, 1/3 chance they complete the R&D project & then conclude it's NOT competitive.

    Cellular Model Development is Rocket Science !
     
  6. ViDeOmAnCiNi macrumors member

    ViDeOmAnCiNi

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    Apple should definitely purchase the patents just for protection of their own modem (if it comes to fruition).
     
  7. laz232 macrumors 6502

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    given their market position it can be competitive to have their own RF and BB chipsets.

    Purchase of the Intel division makes sense - it's already close to an Apple RD centre. NB the Intel modem chips were fabbed on 28nm TMSC last time I was involved (iphone 7 era IIRC) - nothing to do with intel's CPU fabs
     
  8. ProcessorSolderedToMB macrumors newbie

    ProcessorSolderedToMB

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    Worse, for all we know they may have already gone through this multiple times.

    Yet, in Srouji I trust.
     
  9. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

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    #9
    Eh... I’d think this is high-profile enough to prevent that from happening. That is, assuming Apple or some other legitimate tech company can outbid a patent troll, which should be easy.
     
  10. realtuner macrumors 6502a

    realtuner

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    Rocket science? Funny that Qualcomm can't leverage that "rocket science expertise" on processors. They couldn't design an SoC to punch themselves out of a wet paper bag.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 25, 2019 ---
    Well, Apple did join others (Blackberry, Sony and Microsoft) to pick up Nortel's portfolio. The same thing could happen again.
     
  11. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

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    I smell a bidding war, which is exactly what Intel needs right now. AMD's new CPUs are putting a lot of pressure on them.
     
  12. AlekseiM macrumors newbie

    AlekseiM

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  13. JetTester macrumors 6502

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    It may be better for Apple to build from scratch rather than to start with unsuccessful technology. Buy someone else’s problems, they become your problems, not your solutions.
     
  14. itguy06 macrumors 6502a

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    Why? Doubtful Intel has much 5G IP.
     
  15. mi7chy macrumors 603

    mi7chy

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    Sadly this is Apple's MO to BK their partners then pick up their IPs for cheap to send offshore.
     
  16. rp2011 macrumors 65816

    rp2011

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    My own layman opinion is that a consortium sharing the cost and benefits would probably be for the best. Especially since work and R&D to bring technologies to market, if at all, could be a fortune as well.
     
  17. xpxp2002 macrumors regular

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    Intel cellular patents up for auction? I’m in.

    Just need to check the couch cushion first.
     
  18. falainber macrumors 65816

    falainber

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    What exactly does wireless/cellular tech expertise have to do with processor design? Besides, aren't they the biggest manufacturer of mobile processors?
     
  19. mdriftmeyer macrumors 68030

    mdriftmeyer

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    The Physics is universal and Apple has a massive staff of PhDs. Sorry, but RF Mesh theory is well researched to death at the academic level and Apple's superior SoC design knowledge with CPUs/GPGPUs/T2 chip DSP, now Afterburner FPGA programmable ASIC and more includes the teams talents to build modems. What they don't have is the IP of new implementations in the 5G arena to bring it to market.
     
  20. realtuner macrumors 6502a

    realtuner

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    #20
    So? McDonalds is the biggest manufacturer of hamburgers. Doesn’t make them the best.

    Beat me to it.
     
  21. MacBH928 macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

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    it scars me that a company as big and scientifically advanced like Intel can't compete on the 5G cell-modem business so much so they existed a market for 1B devices.
     
  22. falainber macrumors 65816

    falainber

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    Are you trying to say that McDonalds is failing at making and selling hamburgers? Also, do you know any CPU+baseband combo processors (which is what Qualcomm is making) which are better than the ones from Qualcomm? I don't.
     
  23. realtuner macrumors 6502a

    realtuner

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    #23
    Moving the goalposts yet again. I’ll make it simple for you:

    • Qualcomm doesn’t design processors - they use ARM designed cores.
    • Apple uses a 100% in-house custom processor design that’s compatible with ARMv8 (plus a few Apple extensions).
    • Apple cores are vastly superior to any other ARM processor in the plant (including Qualcomm) for IPC, energy efficiency and outright performance.

    It’s irrelevant who sells more and I’m not even sure why you’re bringing up sales numbers in response to a comment about processor design.
     
  24. Bignotsmall macrumors newbie

    Bignotsmall

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    My iPhone 7 Plus factory unlocked ( Qualcomm) has better reception than my XS, both LTE and WiFi . My iPad 10.5 always pulled faster speed than my 12.9 iPad Pro. Intel Wasn’t doing it right.
     
  25. dwaite macrumors regular

    dwaite

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    Apple bankrupted Intel?
     

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31 June 25, 2019