Qualcomm announces Snapdragon X55 second generation 5G modem and global mmWave antenna module

Qualcomm continues to actively develop 5G solutions and today announced its latest modem and antenna module as it builds a robust commercial 5G platform. 5G is coming and support for it is much greater than the disparate 4G rollout.

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Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm is leading the way in bringing 5G to the enterprise and consumers and today announced two new components that will soon make 5G a reality. I admit to being a bit of a skeptic when it comes to 5G, but my skepticism has primarily been based on US wireless carrier behavior. When we look at the technology and the devices that support 5G, Qualcomm is actively engaged in bringing 5G to us in 2019.

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When 4G LTE rolled out we had a few OEMs supporting it, Apple was not a part of the first generation of LTE, a few carriers launching it, and service provided in major population centers. 5G is a different ballgame with more than 20 global operators, more than 20 global OEMs, global rollout in the US, Korea, European Union, China, Japan, and Australia, with various bands, bandwidths, band combinations, and even combinations with 4G to ensure broad coverage around the world.

Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem

The X55 is the successor to the X50 modem announced in 2016. The Snapdragon X55 integrates 5G down to 2G with support for virtually any spectrum band around the world. It is the world's first announced 7 Gbps 5G modem and is designed for smartphones, mobile hotspots, laptops, tablets, automobiles, and fixed wireless access points.

Wireless carriers are one important element to widespread 5G support so the X55 allows operators to simultaneously support 5G and 4G LTE users and devices on the same spectrum. Snapdragon X55 is expected to be in commercial devices by late 2019.

Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated, stated:

Qualcomm Technologies is spearheading the first wave of 5G launches with our first generation 5G mobile platform. With significant evolution in capabilities and performance, our second generation commercial 5G modem is a true testament to the maturity and leadership of our 5G technology. We expect our 5G platform to accelerate 5G commercial momentum and power virtually all 5G launches in 2019 while significantly expanding the global 5G rollout footprint.

Qualcomm QTM525 mmWave antenna module

One of the questions I had when Qualcomm first revealed its 5G plans and methods for supporting 5G on smartphones was in regards to how it couild provide robust coverage with its antenna modules. The new QTM525 provides global mmWave band support while being sized to fit into the four sides of smartphones less than 8mm thick.

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Image: Qualcomm

The QTM525 is a 14nm RF transceiver for 5G sub-6 GHz and LTE. The antenna module adds support for band n258 (26 GHz) for North America, Europe, and Australia. Qualcomm Technologies stated that it is also launching the world's first announced 5G 100MHz envelope tracking solution, QET6100, as well as a family of integrated 5G/4G power amplifier (PA) and diversity modules, and the QAT3555 5G adaptive antenna tuning solution.