Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855, enabling 5G connectivity

Subject: Mobile | December 4, 2018 - 04:00 PM |
Tagged: sub-6, snapdragon 855, qualcomm 3d sonic sensor, qualcomm, mmWave, 5g nr

Today during their Day 1 keynote at the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm has revealed some initial details of their next-generation Snapdragon 855 mobile platform.

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The biggest focus of Snapdragon 855 lies in the connectivity. Paired with the Snapdragon x50 5G modem, Snapdragon 855 will be the first available product to support even faster LTE networks, but also will enable true 5G NR mmWave and Sub-6 GHz radio technology.

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Combined, sub-6 connectivity for wide area coverage, mmWave technology for very high bandwidth applications, as well as high-speed LTE, represent the full breadth of the 3GPP 5G NR standard for mobile connectivity.

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In addition to the hardware support in Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm also discussed today worldwide carrier rollout plans for 5G technology in 2019, including commitments from all four major US carriers for both Sub-6 and mmWave networks.

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In addition, Samsung has announced they will be shipping their first 5G-enabled smartphone, powered by Snapdragon 855, in the first half of 2019.

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Other exciting aspects of Snapdragon 855 include the new 4th generation AI engine, consisting of the CPU, GPU, and Hexagon DSP, with claims of up to 3x the performance of Snapdragon 845 in certain AI workloads.

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The Image Signal Processing part of the Snapdragon 855 also sees an update. Qualcomm is touting the ISP as able to do advanced Computer Vision techniques directly on the ISP, without having to use traditional CPU or GPU resources. This will bring massive power savings to operations such as object detection and background replacement.

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Also announced today is the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor, what Qualcomm is billing as the world’s first ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for under display applications. As opposed to the optical solutions we see in shipping phones today, this new ultrasonic sensor should bring more speed and accuracy to under display fingerprint sensors.

Things are just getting started here at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit, so stay tuned this week for more information on topics such as 5G, Snapdragon 855, and Qualcomm-powered always on always connected PCs!

Source: Qualcomm

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December 4, 2018 | 06:48 PM - Posted by Odin (not verified)

I'm confused. I thought S8150 was the new branding with plenty of articles alluding to this. Is the S855 different to the S8150?

December 5, 2018 | 10:33 AM - Posted by QhyQhy (not verified)

Snapdragon 855 is the 8150! the 855 is commercial name! 8150 was his internal name (project code)

December 5, 2018 | 12:55 AM - Posted by Sean (not verified)

I just have to laugh when they say things like "5G will be a reality...in 2019."

3G took a bit of time to fully roll out. 4G took even longer to become ubiquitous. 5G with its much shorter range will require many more towers. That's not going to be easy because fiber to feed those towers doesn't exist where all these new towers will need to go. The one exception would be in cities with a large FTTH/FTTP network. However, companies that own that fiber have no incentive to lease fiber to a cellular provider that could potentially lure their customers away.

5G phones may be coming out next year, but don't expect them to be at all better since there won't be networks to support them.

December 5, 2018 | 12:11 PM - Posted by ReadDisInfozAndSee (not verified)

I'm pretty sure that in big cities that even the phone companies have some fiber of their own but there are many backhaul providors and cities are covered with loads of Dark Fiber(1) Backhaul that's been built out over time in advance of expected increases in traffic needs. And that sperads out via railroad rights of ways and even old gas lines that are repurposed for fiber optics.

Also accordig to this article(2):

"Each cellular access technology has taken off at a faster rate than the previous generation. GSM took 6 years to reach 100 million subscriptions. 3G’s HSPA+ took 5.25 years, 4G’s LTE 3.5 years, LTE Advanced took 3 years. We will see if 5G further shortens the time to ‘100 million subscriptions’ but the rapid growth in subscriptions combined with the amount of 5G traffic that will be generated, will put increased pressure on the backhaul infrastructure of mobile networks. Over the course of ABI Research’s forecasts, mobile data traffic is anticipated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 28.9% to surpass 1,307 exabytes on an annual basis in 2025. 4G and 5G subscribers may only represent 55% of total subscriptions in 2025, but they represent 91% of the total traffic generated in 2025." (2)

So the economy of scale will be there at an even faster rate to afford any new fiber infrastructure investments with that accelrated adoption rate on any new cellular technology. And that also includes microwave technology as well as other IP.


"Dark fiber key to future of small cells, backhaul"



"Fiber-optic is important for 5G but operators will need a range of options"


December 6, 2018 | 12:51 AM - Posted by Sean (not verified)

IMHO, 4G-LTE and LTE-Advanced really aren't all that different, and I generally lump them together as 4G tech (~6.5+ years if we add the numbers you found). But...if you are going to break up LTE and LTE-Advanced into separate categories, then LTE-Advanced hasn't finished its rolled out - far from it. I went all over the US Mountain West this summer (ID, MT, WY, CO, UT, NV) and took note that there are still many places with just 4G LTE (or even just 3G). I realize this is anecdotal, but nevertheless, it's what I personally experienced.

Regarding fiber availability, here's what a consultant for the telco industry had to say last month: "I was talking to one of my clients about 5G. This particular client is a fiber-overbuilder and they verified something I’ve suspected – they don’t plan to ever make any of their fiber available for a 5G provider wanting to deploy 5G small cell sites." There is further explanation in the post
Source: https://potsandpansbyccg.com/2018/11/06/where-will-5g-find-fiber/

5G has so much hype around it. I just want to set everyone's expectations at a more reasonable level.

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