Intel is preparing to auction off its portfolio of cellular wireless intellectual property, which is said to include a portfolio of 8,500+ assets.
Intel announced in April that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business. The firm stopped working on 5G modem technology after Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement in their modem patent-related legal battle and made an agreement that will see Qualcomm providing 5G modem chips for Apple’s iPhones.
Multiple reports have indicated that Apple and Intel have engaged in discussions about Apple’s potential purchase of Intel’s German modem division. The two were reportedly engaged in talks earlier this month, as Intel looked at selling off its modem business piece-by-piece.
The over 8,500 patents that will be auctioned off include 6,000 patents related to 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular standards, and 1,700 patents covering wireless implementation technologies.
IAM says that although Intel is planning to sell its smartphone business separate from the auction, an interested buyer could possibly pick up both. Or, a consortium of companies could band together to purchase the patents.
If Apple were to purchase Intel’s patents, modem business, or both, it would give them a head start as the company works to kickstart its own modem chsip development. The company is working on developing its own line of smartphone modem chips as part of an effort to reduce their reliance on suppliers like Qualcomm.