5G, gigabit and IoT: Key takeaways from Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit
HONG KONG–Qualcomm hosted its 4G/5G Summit this week, and announced solutions to increase mobile data speeds and enable the IoT. The event was highlighted by three major releases:
Qualcomm introduced three new Snapdragon processors for high and mid-tier mobile devices. The Snapdragon 653, 626 and 427 processors are designed to deliver higher levels of processing performance than their predecessors, the 652, 625 and 425, respectively. All three new processors are designed to support Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, delivering up to 4X more power compared to traditional charging methods. They also support X9 LTE, CAT 7 modem for 300 Mbps download and 150 Mbps upload speeds. In addition, support for dual camera has been extended from the Snapdragon 800 tier to the Snapdragon 600 and 400 tiers, for clearer imaging and photos.
Each of those chipsets supports the following modem features:
- X9 LTE with CAT 7 modem (300Mbps DL; 150Mbps UL) designed to provide users with a 50% increase in maximum uplink speeds over the X8 LTE modem.
- LTE advanced carrier aggregation with up to 2×20 MHz in the downlink and uplink
- Support for 64-QAM in the uplink
- Superior call clarity and higher call reliability with Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) codec on VoLTE calls.
Qualcomm announced it has worked with Telstra, Ericsson and Netgear on the world’s first gigabit LTE mobile device, the Netgear MR1100 router, and the first gigabit class commercially-ready network. The router is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 LTE modem along with Qualcomm Wi-Fi solutions, the first consumer-end device capable of reaching download speeds up to 1 Gbps. It is compatible with Telstra’s new gigabit LTE network enabled by Ericsson. The X16 LTE modem will also be integrated into Qualcomm’s next generation Snapdragon 800 series chips, their premium line found in flagship devices like the LG G5.
Gigabit class LTE download speeds are achieved through a combination of 3x carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO on two aggregated carriers, 2×2 MIMO on the third carrier and 256-QAM higher order modulation.
Qualcomm announced it is taking a learn-by-doing approach in developing a 5G modem, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50. It is designed to support equipment manufacturers that are building the next generation of cellular devices, as well as operators with early 5G trials and deployments. The Snapdragon X50 5G modem will initially support operation in millimeter wave (mm wave) spectrum in the 28GHz band.
It will employ Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, which are designed to provide more robust mobile broadband communications in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments. With 800 MHz bandwidth support, the Snapdragon X50 modem is designed to support peak download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second.
The company also went in to depth on its position within IoT, stating that mobile will lead the way for the internet of things.
“There is no doubt we are on the way to billions of connections,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm, in a keynote session titled New Opportunities in the IoT. “There is also no doubt that mobile tech will drive the IoT.”
Qualcomm also spent quite a bit of time talking about its camera platforms, on the back of glowing camera reviews for the Snapdragon-powered Google Pixel. They spoke of ways cameras can be used within industrial IoT.
“Moving video analytics processing from the server to the camera at the point of capture opens up a new class of ‘conscious cameras’ with tremendous benefits in terms of reduced data streams, better image recognition and immediate alerts and actions,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm. “With advanced connectivity, and computing technologies incorporated into the camera right at the point of capture, we push more intelligence to the edge, allowing deep learning to support highly accurate object recognition.”
The processor manufacturer also reassured critics of IoT that it has sold over one billion IoT-ready devices, and that its LTE Cat M1 LPWAN modem has received strong adoption from OEMs.