Qualcomm Snapdragon X35 modem to bring 5G NR-Light to smartwatches, industrial IoT, XR glasses

Only a few years ago, 5G was only found in premium smartphones, but with the launch of the Snapdragon X35, Qualcomm aims to bring 5G cellular connectivity to wearables, industrial IoT applications, and eXtended Reality (XR) glasses.

The Snapdragon X35 specifically supports 5G NR-Light, aka RedCap, which is described as ” a new class of 5G” that “fills the gap in between high-speed mobile broadband devices and extremely low-bandwidth NB-IoT devices” and delivers link rates of up to 220 Mbps.

Snapdragon X35 5G NR-Light chip

Snapdragon X35 modem key features and specifications:

  • Cellular Technology: 5G NR-Light, FDD, SA (standalone), TDD, sub-6 GHz, HD-FDD, LTE
  • Multi-Mode NR – Sub-6 SA, LTE Cat 4
  • 3GPP Release 17 “RedCap” modem
  • Number of Antennas: 1 Tx antenna, 2 Rx antennas
  • Cellular Modem-RF Specs: 20 MHz bandwidth (sub-6 GHz), 1RX/2RX, 1TX, and Half-Duplex FDD (HD-FDD)
  • Calling Services: VoLTE, VoNR
  • Peak Upload QAM – 64 QAM
  • Peak Upload Speed: 100 Mbps
  • Peak Download Speed: 220 Mbps
  • Peak Download QAM: 256 QAM
  • Location – GNSS Frequency Support: Dual (L1/L5)
  • Advanced technologies
    • Qualcomm QET5100 Envelope Tracking
    • Qualcomm Smart Transmit Technology
    • Qualcomm 5G PowerSave Gen 4
    • Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite
  • Mobility – Support of idle and connected mode mobility
  • Coexistence – Compatible with legacy 5G and 4G networks
  • Coverage Enhancement – Support for uplink slot aggregation

The company also announced the Snapdragon X32 5G Modem-RF System described as “a modem-to-antenna solution built to lower complexity and fuel cost-efficient NR-Light devices”, but we don’t have much information about it at this time. To find out more about both the Snapdragon X35 and X32 5G NR-Light modems, you’d need to be a member of a verified company and create a Qualcomm ID or log in to your existing account.

We do have some extra details about availability with customer sampling of Snapdragon X35 and X32 set to begin in H1 2023, and commercial devices expected by H1 2024. A few more details may be found on the product page and the press release.

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2 Replies to “Qualcomm Snapdragon X35 modem to bring 5G NR-Light to smartwatches, industrial IoT, XR glasses”

  1. The module prices must cover down a tenfold to make them viable for wearables. I would be very surprised if Qualcomm did it first, seeing as they are the ones keeping 4G module prices high, due to licensing.

  2. The current ransomware attacks on VMware for any Internet facing hardware that has out of date software (2 years) doesn’t bode well with all of the discarded hardware already left behind with smart{anything} devices.

    Anybody that saw the blaster/sasser worm on directly connected Windows devices eons ago already know that IOT and smart{devices} fail at making a safe network, in this case, the Internet.

    With Internet security as popular as it is, these connectivity features are getting less relevant, since they have a history of being abandonded at a rapid pace. The Internet is most likely well past a threshold of 50% out of date devices (many with smart in the label/marketing).

    Its time for a new network, rather than packing in more trivial devices. 1G on new infrastructure has a better lifespan than 5G anything.

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