5G is the next big leap in mobile network connectivity and Qualcomm on Tuesday moved a step closer towards bringing the next-generation network to life as the company announced that it successfully achieved 5G data connection on an X50 5G modem chipset for mobile devices. Qualcomm says that the chipset delivered gigabit speeds and a data connection in the 28GHz mmWave radio frequency band. The company also previewed its first 5G smartphone reference design to test the optimisation of 5G within the hardware and form factor of a smartphone.
“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT. “This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumers around the world.”
The 5G reference design is 9mm thick and sports an edge-to-edge display. It will be used to test 5G modems, radios, and networks with smartphone makers over the next two years as companies prepare to deploy 5G-ready smartphones b the first half of 2019.
Apart from its 5G developments, Qualcomm also announced the new Snapdragon 636 chipset for mid-range mobile devices. The new SoC highlights the ability to support ultra-wide FHD+ (1080×2160) displays and Assertive Display for better visibility in non-ideal lighting. The new SoC will help brands bring near bezel-less displays that one has seen so far on premium flagships like Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus to the mid-range segment.
Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 636 boosts performance by up to 30 per cent compared to the Snapdragon 630 thanks to Kryo 260 CPU in the former. It is also integrated with Adreno 509 GPU for a 10 per cent boost in gaming performance compared to the previous generation. Qualcomm plans to ship the Snapdragon 636 to phone makers in November, and we’re likely to see brands come out with more mid-range smartphones with ultra-wide displays soon enough.
The company also announced new additions to the RF Front-End (RFFE) portfolio that is designed to support devices on 600MHz spectrum. The new additions will allow OEMs to manufacture mobile devices that support new operator deployments of Band 71, which is a 600MHz low-frequency band.
Lastly, Qualcomm also announced plans to collaborate with Novatel Wireless on 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter wave (mmWave) technology development, while it will team up with 3GPP for over-the air field trials based on the 5G NR Release with 15 specifications that are being developed by the global 5G standard.
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