OnQ Blog

How the Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System unlocks superior performance [video]

Apr 2, 2020

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

[Editor’s Note, 6/16/2020: Recent analysis* by Ookla of Speedtest Intelligence shows that the fastest 5G smartphones in the U.S. and U.K. are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System. This blog post explains some of the underlying technologies that make it possible.]


Every cellular mobile device includes these important, but often unnoticed parts – a modem, transceiver, and a RF front-end. Historically, these components have been developed separately by several companies, with the burden of integration, testing, calibration, and certification falling on the device manufacturers (OEMs). However, growing complexity in LTE – and now in 5G devices – has posed increasingly difficult design and performance challenges.

The explosion in device complexity, particularly in 5G sub-6 and mmWave devices, demands innovative solutions and techniques to enable manufacturers to bring sleek, high-performance, global mobile devices with all-day battery life to consumers.

With the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System that’s featured in flagship Snapdragon Mobile Platforms, OEMs have the option to take advantage of our innovations in modem-RF system integration for improving performance along multiple vectors

Four key technologies

Watch these short videos to learn about four key technologies with which the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System harnesses modem intelligence and system integration with the RF front-end to achieve superior performance:


Qualcomm 5G PowerSave intelligently reduces power consumption

Qualcomm Signal Boost enhances antenna performance in real time

Qualcomm Smart Transmit Technology optimizes uplink speeds

Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking delivers power efficiency and enhanced coverage

Through intelligent system-level integration of the digital baseband (modem), RF transceiver, and all key RF front-end components, the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System offers an arsenal of advanced technologies engineered to achieve:

  • Superior peak and sustained downlink and uplink speeds
  • Extended outdoor and indoor coverage
  • Superior power efficiency
  • Superior spectral efficiency
  • Sleek form factors
  • Global scale and fast time-to-launch

It’s true that anyone can talk 5G. As the world’s leading wireless technology innovator, we are creating it – and making it better every step of the way. 


Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking, Qualcomm Signal Boost, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave, and Qualcomm Smart Transmit technology are products of Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and/or its subsidiaries.
*Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence™ data average download speeds of competitive Chipsets in the United States and United Kingdom in all 5G devices for Q1 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.


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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.

Nitin Dhiman

Director, Product Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies