Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon X50 5G Modem

Subject: Networking, Mobile | October 17, 2016 - 11:00 PM |
Tagged: Snapdragon X50, snapdragon, qualcomm, modem, mobile, mmWave, LTE, cellular, 5G

Qualcomm has officially unveiled the development of a new 5G modem with the Snapdragon X50, which targets OEMs and early 5G development. The X50 supports milimeter wave (mmWave) technology initially, and rather than replace existing LTE solutions the X50 is designed to work alongside LTE modems integrated into Snapdragon SoCs, for a seamless handoff between 5G and 4G networks.

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"The Snapdragon X50 5G modem will initially support operation in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28GHz band. It will employ Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, which facilitates robust and sustained mobile broadband communications in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments. With 800 MHz bandwidth support, the Snapdragon X50 5G modem is designed to support peak download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second. 

Designed to be used for multi-mode 4G/5G mobile broadband, as well as fixed wireless broadband devices, the Snapdragon X50 5G modem can be paired with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor with an integrated Gigabit LTE modem and interwork cohesively via dual-connectivity. Gigabit LTE will become an essential pillar for the 5G mobile experience, as it can provide a wide coverage layer for nascent 5G networks."

Ratification of an official “5G” standard has not taken place, but Qualcomm hopes to position itself at the forefront of its development. The mmWave technology (which is explained in this video) is only one part of the puzzle:

"Work has begun on defining, standardizing and designing the new OFDM-based 5G New Radio (NR) as part of the global 3GPP standard. 5G NR is being designed to support a wide variation of device-types, services and deployments. It is also being designed to get the most out of every bit of spectrum across a wide array of available spectrum bands and regulatory paradigms."

(More information is available on Qualcomm's 5G Technologies page.)

The Snapdragon X50 modem is set to begin sampling to OEMs in the second half of 2017, with the first half of 2018 projected for the first commercial products featuring the new modem.


Source: Qualcomm

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October 18, 2016 | 03:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Got dammit Mister Peak, can you out this in in Non Nerd Speak? Like what does this mean to us regular fucking people who download 1080 and 4K porn via Celluar?

October 18, 2016 | 04:56 AM - Posted by Jann5s

I've watched the video, it is very informative (also obviously biassed, but that is ok). It explains that mmWave requires line-of-sight, and they use beam-forming and reflections to improve the chances of having a connection. Thats why 4G will not go away, it will be needed as fall-back and to control the 5G stability.

October 18, 2016 | 05:36 PM - Posted by djotter

The video was quite cool, 4G frequencies pass through materials better than 5G, but the 5G ones will reflect better so still allow non line of sight coverage. Neat way to overcome the non-penetrability of the 5G frequencies.

October 18, 2016 | 08:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So now they are talking 5G, and hopefully 4G will be around for at lest 5-7 years. I blew money of a new GSM only phone only to have T-Mobile's GSM service go down in the crapper! So much for T-Mobile's GSM lasting until 2020 like T-mobile said it would! T-Mobile is taking the best GSM bands and switching them over to new services and what GSM channels that remain do not reach inside buildings very well.

Why are the system status icons on Android Phone so damn small!

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