In February, Qualcomm announced its fifth-generation 5G modem design: the Snapdragon X70. The latest modem RF system doesn’t bring substantial improvements to raw download and upload speeds, but it does offer several new features, namely, the new AI processor for enhanced performance, improved power efficiency, and more. Qualcomm has announced new features and milestones for the Snapdragon X70 5G modem ahead of its commercial availability.
The Snapdragon X70 originally supported Qualcomm Smart Transmit 2.0, a system-level feature that lets OEMs optimize download/upload speeds and coverage. Qualcomm has now introduced Smart Transmit 3.0, which extends these optimizations and enhancements to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. The newer version enables real-time averaging of transmit power across 2G-5G, mmWave, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz, Wi-Fi 6/6E/7), and Bluetooth (2.4GHz) radios for extended coverage, improved uplink speeds, and more reliable connectivity.
The Snapdragon X70 is the first 5G modem to support standalone mmWave connection, enabling carriers to deploy services using mmWave exclusively. This will reduce congestion and, more importantly, make it possible to deliver services without having to secure a sub-6GHz license or tap into lower frequencies. At the Qualcomm 5G Summit event, the company disclosed what kind of speeds we can expect from standalone mmWave. In Qualcomm’s internal testing, the Snapdragon X70 achieved peak download speeds of 8.3Gbps on a standalone 5G mmWave connection.
Finally, Qualcomm also demonstrated other key highlights of the Snapdragon X70 modem-RF system, including AI-assisted 5G performance and 5G sub-6GHz carrier aggregation across three TDD channels (100+90+100MHz) for 6Gbps peak download speeds.
These new features and milestones are made possible by the upgradable architecture of Snapdragon X70. First introduced with the Snapdragon X65 modem, the upgradable architecture allows Qualcomm to deliver new features and capabilities to the modem via software upgrades.
The Snapdragon X70 modem is currently sampling to OEMs. The first commercial devices based on the new modem are set to hit the market in late 2022.
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