Ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC), Qualcomm has announced a new 5G modem, the Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF System, which introduces support for 5G Advanced and WiFi 7, the most recent 5G standard and brand for the 3GPP Release 18 standard.
As per the standard, the new modem introduces features that were not yet introduced before. They aim to improve power efficiency, location services accuracy, coverage, and peak speeds. The list of technical characteristics is very long, but this is essentially what consumers should pay attention to when choosing between 5G and 5G Advanced devices.
To make this happen, Qualcomm has also increased the modem’s neural processing (A.I) power by 2.5X, based on the success of previous use cases in recent modems. The embedded 5G A.I. Processor Gen 2 can fine-tune the modem in real-time, and we’ve said previously that it is akin to having a Qualcomm engineer tweak live settings. A.I. can also be utilized for error corrections or other purposes, maximizing hardware utilization.
Speed is probably something most consumers watch and understand, and Qualcomm re-iterated its goal to attain a 10Gbps download speed in the future. As a step towards this goal, this modem uses a 10-components carrier aggregation (10 simultaneous data streams), a first.
Like other radio-based technologies, 5G Advanced, a large part of the technical challenges are in the analog domain. The communications platform starts with the antennas and through the new QTM565 mmWave antenna module.
The Snapdragon X75 Modem contains a lot of new technologies, and Qualcomm is understandably proud to list all of them in its video teaser:
- Converged mmWave SUB6 Architecture
- Sensor-modem-RF fusion for mmWave
- Qualcomm’s 5G PowerSave Gen 4
- Qualcomm R.F. Power Efficiency Suite
- Qualcomm 5G AI Suite Gen 2
- AI-enhanced GNSS Location Gen 2 (the high-level concept is like 5G A.I. Positioning)
- Qualcomm Advanced Modem-RF Software Suite
For the average consumer, this translates into the Snapdragon X75 being the next-generation high-end modem for upcoming devices, including but not limited to smartphones.
The modem will also find its way into fixed internet 5G modems (for homes), and this technology is rapidly gaining momentum as it is one of the most efficient ways to deploy fast home internet.
Observers predict the new X75 5G modem will power an upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the successor to today’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 find in phones like the new Galaxy S23 series. Qualcomm said that “Snapdragon X75 is currently sampling, with commercial devices expected to launch by the second half of 2023.”
It’s fair to say that the reliability and speed of wireless networks have improved incredibly in the past ten years, and this modem sets off a new stage with the first adoption of 5G Advanced.