Announced in 2017, the first Qualcomm 5G modem – named Snapdragon X50 – could achieve up to 5 Gbps downloads, it was following by Snapdragon X55 with peak download speeds of 7 Gbps, and Snapdragon X60 upped that to 7.5 Gbps in 2020.
The company has now unveiled its fourth-generation 5G modem with Snapdragon X65 promising up to 10 Gigabit per second peak download speed. The new modem is also said to be the first to feature a 3GPP Release 16 modem-to-antenna solution and may be used in mobile broadband, fixed wireless, industrial IoT, and 5G private network applications.
Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 key features and specifications:
- 10 Gbps peak speeds in 5G standalone and non-standalone modes
- 3GPP Release 16 support
- Cellular Technology – 5G NR, LTE, WCDMA (DB-DC-HSDPA), TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, GSM/EDGE
- 5G Spectrum – mmWave-sub6 aggregation, sub-6 carrier aggregation (FDD-TDD, FDD-FDD, TDD-TDD), Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)
- 5G Modes – TDD, SA (standalone), NSA (non-standalone), FDD
- 5G mmWave specs – 1000 MHz bandwidth, 10 carriers, 2×2 MIMO
- 5G sub-6 GHz specs – 300 MHz bandwidth, 256-QAM, 4×4 MIMO
- Global 5G support with Multi-SIM and band support including the new n259 (41 GHz), n70, and n53 bands
- Power-saving technology
- Qualcomm 5G PowerSave 2.0 with support for new power-saving technologies defined in 3GPP Release 16 including “Connected-Mode Wake-Up Signal”.
- Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking (7th gen)
- Qualcomm AI-Enhanced Signal Boost
- Other enhancements
- Qualcomm Smart Transmit 2.0 technology
- Qualcomm RF Gaming Mode Boost
- Process – 4 nm process
Some of the terms above probably require an explanation. Qualcomm AI-Enhanced Signal Boost uses AI to increases the accuracy in detecting hand grips by 30 percent, leading to enhanced antenna tuning capabilities which in turn lead to faster data speeds, better coverage, and longer battery life. Qualcomm Smart Transmit 2.0 technology “takes advantage of modem-to-antenna system awareness to increase upload data speeds and enhance coverage for both mmWave and Sub-6 GHz bands while continuing to meet RF emissions requirements”.
The Snapdragon X65 5G modem also pairs with Qualcomm QTM545 fourth-generation mmWave antenna module for extended mmWave coverage and power efficiency, as well as to support higher transmit power and the new frequency bands listed in the specifications.
The modem has also been engineered with an upgradable architecture to enable enhancements, expandability, and customization via software updates. This will for example ease the rollout of new 3GPP Release 16 features that may be used in compute, industrial IoT, and fixed wireless access.
Qualcomm says it is currently sampling Snapdragon X65 5G modem to OEMs and commercial devices are expected to launch later in 2021. The new 10 Gigabit 5G modem will be used in premium devices, but the company also announced the Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System, still a complete modem-to-antenna solution, designed for the mainstream market with a peak download speed of 4.4 Gbps. More information about Snapdragon X65 may be found on the product page and announcement.