NXP was demonstrating the first implementation of its programmable modem technology at 5G World, that it announced at MWC earlier this year. The company has created a new architecture that allows a fully programmable PHY layer for various wireless standards, such as WiFi 802.11ac and pre-standard 5G. Companies can create different modems for different technologies, using the same basic architecture. But it also allows customers to future-proof their solution as standards change and become refined – they can deploy "pre-standardised" 5G now for testing, for example, and then upgrade as standards mature simply by conducting a software upgrade to the installed units. Until now it hasn't been possible to build a cost-effective programmable solution. Now, NXP says it has created a solution that is fully comparable to a fixed implementation in terms of power and area.