Intel Creates ‘World’s Smallest’ 3G Modem For IoT

Intel says it has created the world’s smallest standalone 3G modem, the XMM 6255, which it believes can reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of connected devices.

The XMM 6255 combines the transceiver, power amplifier and power management functionalities onto a single chip, simplifying the design process and theoretically making it cheaper to manufacture connected devices.

Intel claims that the single chip also prevents the modem from overheating, voltage peaks and damage in, making it ideal for safety monitors and other critical IoT machines.

Intel 3G modem

At just 300 square mm in size, Intel also says the XMM 6255 can be used in small wearable devices that cannot house a full-size 3G antenna and promises the modem will work well in low-signal environments such as basements and garages.

IoT is becoming an increasingly important focus for Intel, which is struggling with falling PC sales and a failure to secure any significant share of the mobile market, which is dominated by chips using ARM designs.

The company launched an IoT-dedicated business unit in 2013, reporting directly to CEO Brian Krzanich, and has opened four dedicated innovation centres in the EMEA region, the most recent of which was Swindon in June. Earlier this year, Krzanich unveiled a new family of ‘gateway’ solutions for IoT devices based on the Quark System-on-a-Chip and Atom processors.

However, Intel is just one of a number of companies keen on connecting the world’s devices, with Cisco, Dell, Samsung and Apple among those to have made investments in the field.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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