October 17, 2017
Embattled chip giant Qualcomm is keen to show its state of perma-litigation isn’t distracting it from the business of modem innovation.
The ‘5G firsts’ are coming thick and fast these days as we’re less than a year from the anticipated standard being announced. While it’s involved in a number of different chippy areas Qualcomm’s core competence remains modems, so it’s vital to the future health of the company that it occupies as strong a position in 5G as it did in the previous couple of cellular connectivity generations.
Qualcomm has been banging on about its X50 5G modem for a while, but this seems to be the first time it has publicly been used for a 5G transmission. The demo was done over the 28 GHz spectrum band, using several 100 MHz carriers, and claims to have topped 1 Gbps download speeds. The canned comment provided is exemplary of the kind of modest, insightful understatement we have come to expect from Qualcomm.
“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” said Cristiano Amon, President of QCT. “This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumers around the world.”
In other Qualcomm news the company has announced new additions to the RF Front-End (RFFE) portfolio that are designed to support devices operating in the 600 MHz spectrum, which will be welcome news for T-Mobile US. It has also launched the Snapdragon 636, which is a bit better than the mid/high end Snapdragon 630. Lastly if you have any doubts about what a big deal 5G will be, this Qualcomm video, complete with bizarre soundtrack, should put your mind at ease.
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