Qualcomm has announced the new Snapdragon X70 modem at this year’s MWC, increasing both the uplink and downlink speeds and also offering new features, too. The big feature this year is the chip’s AI capabilities, a world-first in a modem-RF system. We expect that this will be the modem that gets placed in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that’s expected to launch at the end of this year.
Artificial Intelligence meets modem-RF
Electronic motherboard rendering
What do you get when you cross a modem with artificial intelligence? The Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 modem, apparently. It features the company’s new AI suite which can enhance 5G speeds, coverage, latency, and power efficiency for both sub-6GHz bandwidths and mmWave.
There are four key elements to the AI suite introduced in the Snapdragon X70 modem. The first is an AI-based channel-state feedback and optimization algorithm that can increase the average downlink and uplink speeds. Second of all is an AI-based mmWave beam management to increase coverage, then an AI-based network selection algorithm.
The fourth and final AI-based feature is called adaptive tuning, and it launched last year as a part of the Snapdragon X65. It again can increase average downlink and uplink.
Operators and OEMs both benefit
Both operators and OEMs can benefit from the Snapdragon X70 modem, being the only 5G modem-RF family to support every commercial 5G band from 500MHz to 41GHz. That ensures widespread compatibility across all major operators and offers flexibility to OEMs and operators. It also has support for global 5G multi-SIM and Dual-SIM Dual Active.
What’s more, standalone mmWave is supported so that operators can deploy services just making use of the mmWave spectrum. Qualcomm confirmed as well that this feature was seeing significant demand, and would be backported to the Snapdragon X65 modem that launched last year.
Speed, coverage, and low latency
The Snapdragon X70 features a peak 10 Gbps download speed and is also built with a work-from-home workspace in mind. This time around, it has a peak 3.5 Gbps peak upload speed for 5G thanks to switched uplink, complementing carrier aggregation so that operators can switch between TDD and FDD. There are also a number of focuses paid towards ensuring that there is a reduced latency for end-users.
Qualcomm says that it has up to 60% power efficiency improvements thanks to Qualcomm 5G PowerSave Gen 3. This is partially thanks to advanced techniques including multi-antenna optimizations. Additionally, advanced modem-RF technologies, such as Qualcomm’s QET7100 Wideband Envelope Tracking and AI-based adaptive antenna tuning allow for superior power efficiency in more indoor and outdoor locations, user scenarios, and network conditions. The AI tricks allow for both a combination of improved performance and more efficient modem operation for power savings across the board.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 modem is expected to launch in 5G devices by the end of this year.
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