OnQ Blog

Meet Snapdragon X55 – the world’s most advanced commercial 5G modem [video]

When we announced the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G Modem back in 2016, it was a groundbreaking step forward, setting us on the road to 5G commercialization. It’s since become an essential part of virtually every major 5G trial or launch, helping spearhead 5G adoption globally. Today, over 20 OEMs and more than 20 operators have committed to launching 5G products and services based on our Snapdragon platform. 

Now, we’re taking another pioneering leap forward with the launch of the world’s most advanced multimode 5G modem — our second-generation 5G solution, the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem. Snapdragon X55 is designed to accelerate global 5G rollout and bring 5G to a broad range of device categories and applications beyond smartphones, including hotspots, Wi-Fi routers, Always Connected PCs*, laptops, tablets, XR devices and connected cars.Combined with Qualcomm RF Front End solutions, the Snapdragon X55 is designed to support high-power fixed wireless access (FWA) services and equipment.

Read on to learn more about how the Snapdragon X55 will help supercharge the rollout of 5G, globally.

Flexibility and improved network performance for operators

Snapdragon X55 is designed to provide comprehensive support for 5G NR TDD and FDD, as well as mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum. It also supports 5G non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) modes, and 5G/4G spectrum sharing. As a result, devices powered by Snapdragon X55 will offer extensive flexibility to operators for utilizing their spectrum assets to help bring the best connected experiences to consumers. In addition to providing flexibility, 5G/4G spectrum sharing support also helps operators improve network efficiency and capacity. The added full-dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO) support in Snapdragon X55 allows operators to utilize both azimuth (horizontal) and elevation (vertical) beamforming to boost spectral efficiency. 

Modem-to-antenna 5G solution

While the modem is at the heart of a wireless device, a significant amount of system-level innovation beyond the modem is needed in order to build a high performance, power-efficient 5G device. A discrete or component-based approach is no longer sufficient for meaningfully addressing the RF design challenges posed by 5G.

Snapdragon X55 is part of a comprehensive modem-to-antenna solution which includes the baseband, RF IC, and complete RF front-end for mmWave and sub-6 GHz. This is imperative in tackling 5G-related design challenges, and uniquely positions us to help OEMs accelerate 5G time-to-launch. This means fewer hurdles to delivering the benefits of 5G — multi-gigabit speeds, low latency, and global scale — to new classes of devices and end users.

Continued 5G and LTE leadership

With Snapdragon X55, we’ve pushed peak speeds to an unprecedented 7 Gbps for download and 3 Gbps for upload, enabling a new era of wireless capability and exciting applications and use cases for consumers and enterprise.

With Snapdragon X55, we’ve also introduced Qualcomm Envelope Tracking and Qualcomm Adaptive Antenna Tuning technologies for 5G NR for superior battery life, network coverage and data speeds.

While driving 5G forward, we also continue to innovate and push 4G LTE boundaries. Snapdragon X55 features cutting-edge LTE features, including 24 spatial streams, 4x4 MIMO, and 1024-QAM. It includes 2.5 Gbps LTE peak speeds enabled by Category 22 LTE. These capabilities — along with License Assisted Access (LAA) — are designed to provide more operators the flexibility to deploy multi-Gigabit LTE with available spectrum assets. 

5G is here, and Qualcomm Technologies has established our 5G leadership with a steady stream of tangible 5G milestones, commercial design wins, and ecosystem traction. The launch of Snapdragon X55 builds on this; it’s a real-world product that demonstrates how our inventions unlock the potential of 5G for a growing number of industries on the verge of major transformation. 

It’s true that anyone can talk 5G. Qualcomm Technologies is creating it, and we’re creating it now. Customer sampling for Snapdragon X55 is happening now and is expected to be in 5G commercial devices launching in late 2019.

* Requires network connectivity. Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and/or its subsidiaries.

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