Samsung, Qualcomm partner in 5G small cell, networking push

The companies say the joint effort will boost future massive 5G networks.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Samsung and Qualcomm have announced a new partnership in 5G small cell development.

On Tuesday, the tech giants said they would begin working together to create 5G small cells for commercial applications, which will "open the door for massive 5G network speed, capacity, coverage, and ultra-low latency."

Small cells are radio equipment and antennas which can be placed on structures such as street lights, the sides of buildings, or poles.

This kind of equipment acts as the building blocks of 5G networks by connecting within short distances of each other -- in comparison to telephone poles which are potentially miles apart at a time -- to bolster network capacity and the transfer of data at high speeds.

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5G New Radio (NR) is a new Qualcomm standard for mobile broadband. The company says that "given the propagation characteristics of higher frequencies in sub-6 and mmWave bands that will be used in 5G NR networks, small cell solutions are needed to support delivery of uniform 5G experiences, especially indoors where most data is consumed."

Samsung has agreed to these develop small cell solutions which will act as the backbone of future 5G NR deployments.

The South Korean firm's solution will use Qualcomm's FSM100xx 10nm small cell product. Announced in May, the mobile product will give Samsung the opportunity to utilize both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrum.

Sampling is expected to begin in 2020.

"Small cells are the perfect vehicle for delivering on the potential of 5G user experiences," said Irvind Ghai, Vice President of Product Management at Qualcomm. "We are extremely pleased to enable an industry-leader like Samsung to commercialize 5G Small Cells and deliver on the promise of increased performance, deployment flexibility, and cost-effectiveness."

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In related news, the tech giant also announced a new set of antenna modules for 5G NR millimeter wave (mmWave) systems used in mobile devices.

The refreshed equipment is 25 percent smaller than the first QTM052 modules and is expected to give vendors "more freedom and flexibility" in their 5G mmWave designs.

Qualcomm has also recently announced the Snapdragon 675 mobile platform. The chipset has been designed with artificial intelligence (AI), gaming, speed, and camera capabilities in mind.

The platform is able to support mobile devices sporting cameras implementing 5x optical zoom and 25-megapixel shots, the application of bokeh effects, and 4K video capture.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 includes a 4th-generation 2.0GHz Kryo CPU, Adreno GPU, Hexagon DSP, the 3rd-generation Qualcomm AI Engine, Snapdragon X12 modem, and 2 nd-gen Qualcomm Spectra ISP.

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