At IFA 2019, Qualcomm Technologies announced their plans to accelerate 5G global commercialization at scale by expanding its portfolio of 5G mobile platforms across the Snapdragon 8 Series, 7 Series and 6 Series in 2020.
“Qualcomm Technologies delivered the world’s first and most advanced 5G mobile platform including the first comprehensive Modem-RF System to accelerate 5G commercialization in 2019,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “And we are uniquely positioned to accelerate 5G commercialization to scale globally with our OEM and operator customers with expanded mobile platform offerings across our Snapdragon 8 Series, 7 Series and 6 Series in 2020.”
These new mobile platforms will be the first in a roadmap of software-compatible 5G mobile platforms and take advantage of the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System. This Snapdragon system is designed to deliver cellular performance, coverage, power-efficiency, and new form factors in 5G devices, at global scale. Snapdragon’s portfolio of 5G mobile platforms is designed to support all key regions and frequency bands including mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum, TDD and FDD modes, 5G multi-SIM, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, and Standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures.
The flagship Snapdragon 8 Series is already powering leading 5G mobile devices that were introduced globally in 2019.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7 Series 5G Mobile Platform will have 5G integrated into a SoC (System-on-Chip) and support all key regions and frequency bands. This mobile platform built on 7nm process technology is designed to bring select premium-tier features, including the next gen Qualcomm AI Engine and select Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, to a broader audience.
Twelve global OEMs and brands including OPPO, realme, Redmi, Vivo, Motorola, HMD Global, the home of Nokia smartphones, and LG Electronics, plan to use this new integrated Snapdragon 7 Series 5G mobile platform in their future 5G mobile devices. Qualcomm began samling the integrated Snapdragon 7 Series 5G Mobile Platform to customers in the second quarter of 2019. Devices are expected to launch in early 2020.
The Snapdragon 6 Series 5G Mobile Platform is designed to make 5G user experiences even more broadly available. Devices based on the Snapdragon 6 Series 5G Mobile Platform are expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2020.
Huawei Technologies has plans for a new high-end smart phone, the Mate 30, which will feature 5G capabilities but will use a Kirin 990 chip developed by Huawei's on subsidiary HiSilicon.
Taiwan-based MediaTek Inc earlier this year has also announced a 5G smartphone chip.
Qualcomm’s chip handles the two variants of 5G networks, so-called sub-6 and millimeter-wave bands. That means that phones using its chip will work on any carrier’s 5G networks, especially in the United States.
Chips such as MediaTek's are only capable of handling the sub-6 bands, which keeps the cost and complexity of the chips and phone designs down. However, it means the phones cannot take full advantage of networks from U.S. carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc that use millimeter wave technology.
Qualcomm Technologies allows OEMs to quickly 5G devices by offering commercial chipset solutions that combine modem, RF transceiver and RF Front-end. Today the Company introduced a name for these differentiated solutions: Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems.
The Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System is the flagship solution that Qualcomm offers today. It features an advanced commercial 5G modem, RF transceiver, RF front-end, millimeter wave (mmWave) antenna modules and software framework for power-saving and performance-enhancing 5G technologies.
The Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems are built from the ground up to address some of the most difficult 5G challenges such as mobile mmWave, 5G power efficiency and ease of design, enabling adoption globally across product segments including smartphones, fixed wireless access, 5G PCs, tablets, mobile hotspots, XR devices and automotive.
Qualcomm says that there are more than 150 5G designs launched or in development using Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems. The Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems are powering smartphones across all regions, including Australia, China, Europe, Middle East, South Korea and the US. A modem-RF system is also integrated into the Snapdragon 7 Series 5G mobile platform announced today to further accelerate global 5G rollouts.
Qualcomm Technologies co-design the hardware and software across all sub-components of the system and uses many optimization techniques. These innovations include achieving 5G mmWave in mobile, 5G extended-range mmWave CPE, Qualcomm Smart Transmit technology for optimal uplink throughput while meeting transmission limits, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave for superior receive power efficiency, Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking for superior transmit power efficiency and network performance, efficient high-power UE (HPUE) implementation for extended coverage with long battery life, 5G multi-SIM, a tunable multi-antenna management system, and Qualcomm Signal Boost dynamic antenna tuning for higher throughput, call reliability and network coverage.
Qualcomm is shipping the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System to OEM customers and it is scheduled to be in commercial devices including 5G smartphones, laptops, customer-premise equipment for fixed wireless access, mobile hotspots, routers and automotive products, beginning in late 2019.
Fully Integrated Extended-Range mmWave Solution for 5G Fixed Wireless Access
Qualcomm also today introduced the Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave antenna module for the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, delivering the first fully integrated extended-range mmWave solution for 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) – allowing mobile operators to offer fixed internet broadband services to homes and businesses using their 5G network infrastructure.
The Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave antenna module expands the capabilities of the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System to deliver a modem-to-antenna platform for 5G mmWave customer-premises equipment (CPE) designs. Qualcomm is enabling mobile carriers and OEMs to accelerate the expansion of high-speed internet access to underserved suburban and rural communities, as well as dense urban environments, with a plug-and-play, multi-gigabit alternative to cable and fiber.
5G fixed wireless access CPEs can be deployed on a roof or in a window to receive a 5G signal – skipping the “last mile” fiber deployment typically needed for in-home broadband. As the first high-power mmWave antenna module for 5G FWA, the QTM527 mmWave antenna module offers fiber-equivalent performance at extended range, enabling carriers and OEMs to deliver 5G’s multi-gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency to a wider customer base within a large coverage footprint.
The QTM527 mmWave antenna module, introduced into the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, supports up to 64 dual polarization antenna elements for optimal and extended mmWave range. This full system solution includes the latest mmWave technology, including beam forming, beam steering and beam tracking for bi-directional communication, along with global band support for compatibility in every major region around the world. The Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave module is sampling to Qualcomm's customers and the first high-power mmWave CPE devices are expected to arrive in the first half of 2020.