OnQ Blog

Qualcomm Modems – the “behind-the-screens” magic

Do you know how many radio technologies a modern smartphone or tablet can have in it? Here’s a list of all the flavors of 2G, 3G, and 4G cellular radios plus miscellaneous ones:

Cellular Radios (2G/3G/4G) Misc. Radios
CDMA 1X Bluetooth
1X Advanced  
EV-DO Rev. A/B  
HSPA/ HSPA+ (R99, R6, R8)  

Additionally, In fact, the devices might have to support more than 40 RF bands to cater to the diverse needs of the global marketplace. For example, AT&T and T-Mobile both use HSPA/HSPA+ for 3G cellular services but operate on different RF bands (AT&T uses 850, 1900 and 2100 MHz RF bands, while T-Mobile uses 1700 and 2100 MHz).

What’s even more remarkable is that the modem inside the device can magically select and connect to the best technology available at any time in a seamless, and user-transparent way. Making that magic happen is what Qualcomm excels at.  We do it through highly integrated complete modem system solutions that support all of the leading-edge wireless technologies, across a wide range of RF bands, enabling the dream of “anytime, anywhere” connectivity.

Qualcomm is first to market with most of the latest 3G/4G multimode modem technologies, giving our partners a leg up against the competition. For example: Snapdragon MSM8960 is the industry’s first and only single-chip solution integrating both the App Processor and LTE/3G modem; MDM9600 was world’s first LTE/3G multimode modem introduced in 2009; MDM8220 and MDM8200 were the first HSPA+ (R7) and Dual-Carrier HSPA+ (R8) chipsets introduced in 2010 and 2008, respectively; and QSD 8650 was the first ever commercial Rev. B chipset.

Thanks to a broad and strong roadmap, our partners have a wide variety of modem chipsets to choose from —from MDMs that are suitable for USB dongles and datacards to advanced Snapdragon chips for computing-intensive smartphones and tablets. The latest Snapdragon S4 chipsets contain a high-performance multi-core application processor and industry-leading Adreno® graphics processor along with modems supporting the latest releases of the wireless technologies mentioned above.

Qualcomm also offers chipsets with the state-of-art interference and mobility management features addressing the fast-emerging small-cells (femto) market, as well as infrastructure chipsets for CDMA/EV-DO technologies.

Qualcomm takes an end-to-end approach in its chipset development philosophy. This approach involves actively participating and contributing to standards, prototyping technologies to understand device and network needs, and performing extensive interoperability tests to ensure short time-to- market and smooth market introduction.

The other unsung heroes that help Qualcomm modems achieve unsurpassed performance are our best-in-class advanced receivers. They incorporate interference cancellation, enhanced equalizer and other techniques to improve capacity, data rates and the user experience, without any standards or network impact.

I can go on endlessly praising our modems, but, let me end with this: if you have a Qualcomm modem inside your mobile device, rest assured that it is hard at work to bring its “behind-the-screens magic,” connecting you to the best possible access and enabling an excellent user experience.

If you want to know more, log in to our modem focused webinar.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.