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Intel, MediaTek, Qualcomm dominating 5G modem chips supply
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Amanda   Update Time :2019/1/24 18:40:37

While chipmakers and brand vendors of smartphones are striving to seek a preemptive presence in the segments of 5G IPs, patents and AP chips, the most critical 5G modem chip solutions are now still a space dominated by three leading chipmakers Qualcomm, Intel and MediaTek.

Huawei, Samsung Electronics and Apple are reportedly still taking a wait-and-see attitude toward whether to jump on the bandwagon of 5G modem chipsets as the investment gains from the solutions are not so lucrative as imagined, although they are technologically and financially capable of developing such modem chipsets, industry sources said.

Long at odds with Qualcomm, Apple would rather adopt Intel's 5G modem platform and also try out solutions provided by MediaTek than developing its own chipsets. Judging from actual field tests by related parties on 5G mobile communications technologies, the sources commented, Qualcomm, Intel and MediaTek will remain the only three players in the segment of 5G modem chips in the initial stage of the 5G era.

Taiwan IC designers noted that designs, fabrication process technologies and yield rates associated with modem chips are not issues harder to tackle than those of smartphone AP chips and AI chips. But more complicated tests, performance improvements and yield rate adjustments for modem chips require much more support, requiring chipmakers to drastically expand the scale of R&D teams. This would deter newcomers from entering the 5G modem chip market segment despite its remarkable growth outlook, the sources said.

As one of the three major suppliers of 5G modem chips, Taiwan's MediaTek expects to leverage its advantage of high price/performance ratios in chip offerings to generate growth momentum in the next wave of 5G chips deployment. The company will take a "New Premium" marketing strategy to push for fast terminal market acceptance of its 5G chip product lines.


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