Qualcomm has announced its third generation 5G modem. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system is a discrete component that allows device makers to add state of the art 5G support. The key attraction of the Snapdragon X60 is that it facilitates "fibre-like internet speeds and low latency," according to Qualcomm. Furthermore, as per our sub-headline, the X60 includes the world's first baseband component built on the 5nm process.
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system is targeted at premium smartphones, as well as commercial and industrial devices which would benefit from a 5G connection. This third gen part looks like it goers all-in on support for all key 5G bands and combinations, including spectrum aggregation - in order to deliver the best 5G connectivity even with fragmented spectrum assets. In other words it should improve end user 5G experiences on many mobile networks worldwide. Moreover it supports 5G Voice-over-NR (VoNR) capabilities.
Another notable improvement delivered by the Snapdragon X60 is the new Qualcomm QTM535 mmWave antenna module. As well as offering "superior mmWave performance," Qualcomm says it is the most compact antenna module yet, allowing for thinner, sleeker smartphones.'
"As 5G stand-alone networks are introduced in 2020, our third-generation 5G modem-RF platform brings extensive spectrum aggregation capabilities and options to fuel the rapid expansion of 5G rollouts while enhancing coverage, power efficiency and performance for mobile devices," said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm Inc.
Considering the Snapdragon X60's touted performance, it is said to be capable of "up to 7.5 gigabits per second (Gbps) download speeds and 3Gbps upload speeds." With carrier aggregation the peak 5G data rates can be doubled compared to solutions without this facility.
Qualcomm will start shipping Snapdragon X60 modems and QTM535 to device makers very soon but the first commercial premium smartphones using the new modem-RF system are not expected until early 2021.