October 17, 2016
Qualcomm Technologies prides itself on being a wireless technology leader. It’s at the very heart of our identity, the core of what defines and drives us. Our inventions have pushed the boundaries of wireless technology for decades.
And now the company that brought you 3G and 4G is doing it again. Today, we’re announcing the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It is Qualcomm Technologies' first 5G modem, and it will help usher in a new generation of cellular services.
With this announcement, 5G becomes more than just an ambitious collection of ideas about what the future of cellular systems should look like and what it will make possible. Qualcomm Technologies has led the 5G conversation, and now we’re leading the way with the realization of actual 5G products.
The Snapdragon X50 5G modem is a remarkable milestone in and of itself. But its capabilities are even more impressive. It’s engineered to support unprecedented download speeds of up to 5Gbps. It is designed to achieve these breathtaking speeds by utilizing very wide bandwidths available in the 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) band combined with advanced signal processing technologies.
Mobilizing mmWaveDownload the infographic to learn more
Given the challenges posed by the propagation characteristics of mmWave spectrum, many had speculated that mmWave would be confined to fixed wireless applications. But the X50 modem bears the Snapdragon name and is made by Qualcomm Technologies, so naturally, it’s built from the ground up for mobility.
Years of research and development have allowed us to invent technologies to overcome mmWave’s limitations. Instead of using only a handful of antennas (as with 4G), the Snapdragon X50 5G modem relies on multi-element antenna arrays. The antennas are designed to work together intelligently, using beamforming and beam tracking technologies, extending mmWave’s mobility and reach to non-line-of-sight scenarios. For example, the Snapdragon X50 5G modem can direct the energy of the mmWave beam, bouncing off obstacles to reach the mmWave 5G small cell with which it is communicating.
But what happens when the 5G device moves completely out of range of the 5G small cell? This is where our leadership in 4G LTE will play a crucial role. Just today, Qualcomm Technologies, along with Telstra, Ericsson, and NETGEAR,announced the first commercial Gigabit Class LTE device and network. Gigabit Class LTE is now a reality, and again we’re at the forefront. It’s our firm belief that Gigabit Class LTE will be the advanced coverage layer that co-exists, and interworks, with 5G deployments.