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Looking Back at MWC 2014

Mobile World Congress is the time to make headlines and stand out from the crowd. As a chipset supplier whose chips enable a wide range of mobile devices, from the top tier down to the volume smartphone tier and from tablets up to cars, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. (QTI) not only made the headlines but made its presence felt at the show floor with some of the most innovative modem product and technology demonstrations.

Everyone at MWC including operators, infra vendors, test equipment makers, and chipset suppliers were talking about LTE Cat6 and QTI displayed the maturity of its LTE Cat6 solution with a live demonstration on a Samsung smartphone. QTI also revealed and revealed plans to drive Cat6 across different segments of the industry with a broad set of announcements.

Driving LTE Advanced Cat6 into mobile computing, automotive, and more

By announcing the world’s first Cat6 embedded connectivity platform for mobile computing products, QTI is taking Cat6 to a wide range of computing form factors including thin laptops, tablets and convertibles. PC vendors who currently offer notebooks and tablets with built-in LTE technology based on QTI’s second-generation LTE chipset, the Qualcomm Gobi™ MDM9x15, include Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba. This new Cat6 platform, the Gobi 9x30, is based on the 4th generation of Qualcomm Gobi LTE modem and RF transceiver chips, and includes support for all major global cellular technologies as well as leading operating systems, allowing notebook and tablet manufacturers to offer a single product that will work in multiple regions around the world.

Further expanding its Cat6 portfolio, QTI announced the first LTE Cat6 chipset for the automotive industry. Together with Snapdragon Automotive Solutions, Qualcomm Gobi Cat6 modems will help enable sophisticated in-car connected experiences for users through advanced telematics and infotainment features.

Finally, QTI showed that its chipsets are ready for commercial use with a demonstration of downlink data rates of 300 Mbps, and smooth streaming of multiple 4K videos on a smartphone powered by the Gobi 9x35 modem.

Qualcomm® RF360™ is happening

Following-up on last year’s announcement of Qualcomm RF360 front end solution, QTI made news at the show this year by announcing the launch of the first multimode multiband (MMMB) CMOS power amplifiers with integrated antenna switch on the ZTE Grand S2 LTE smartphone and by showing live demonstrations of other key technologies that are part of RF360.

The Qualcomm RF360 family includes 3 chipsets - Envelope Tracking (ET), Antenna Matching Tuner, MMMB CMOS power amplifier with integrated antenna switch - and a vertical RF packaging solution. With the launch of CMOS power amplifiers, the three chipsets of the RF360 family are now commercial as Envelope Tracking has already launched on mainstream devices such as Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Google Nexus 5, and Antenna Matching Tuner has launched on the Nokia Lumia 1520.

The Envelope Tracking demo showed around 25% lower current consumption of ET versus APT (Average power tracking) for an LTE data call and the Antenna Matching Tuner demo highlighted the role of the tuner in automatically matching the RF front-end with the device antenna.  While ET allows significant improvement in battery life, the antenna matching tuner enables a stronger cellular connection under typical conditions such as the user’s head or hand blocking the phone’s antenna.

Leading the LTE charge on all fronts

QTI’s technology leadership in LTE was evident from the large number of demonstrations and announcements around several different aspects of LTE. LTE Broadcast, which recently launched on KT’s network in Korea using the Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 processor, was on display at MWC. Also on display was dual SIM LTE, which allows a user to connect to two networks—one for LTE/3G data and another for circuit switched voice—using a single device. Dual SIM devices are very popular in emerging regions and many attendees were interested in learning how QTI is bringing LTE and dual SIM technologies together for the first time.

Cutting-edge demos on LTE direct, LTE based HD video telephony, LTE in unlicensed spectrum, interference cancellation in LTE and carrier aggregation in 3G rounded out the show from a modem perspective. QTI also announced cooperation with Deutsche Telecom on the first LTE direct operator trial in Germany.

It was quite amazing to see the breadth of devices enabled by QTI’s chipsets at the device bar in Qualcomm Technologies’ booth. Announcement of the Snapdragon 801 processor to power the latest Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Snapdragon 400 processor to power the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 was a further case in point.

At MWC 2014, Qualcomm Technologies received the Telecoms.com award for Qualcomm RF360 in the device innovation category and the GTI innovation award for Snapdragon 3rd Generation LTE family and Gobi 9x35 modem and WTR3925 RF transceiver in the multimode multiband product category.

In summary, Qualcomm Technologies’ presence at MWC 2014 was truly reflective of the theme of the show: Creating What’s Next. By showcasing a rich suite of technologies designed to deliver the next level of mobile experiences to users, Qualcomm Technologies exhibited its holistic perspective on mobile connectivity and also raised expectations on what to expect from the company next year at MWC 2015.

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