OnQ Blog

Kicking 5G into high gear – Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 and family [video]

Get ready for the 10 Gigabit 5G era and more of the mobile experiences you deserve

Feb 9, 2021

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

The mobile industry has evolved at a breathtaking pace in the last 15 years. The advent of ubiquitous mobile data usage with LTE roughly ten years ago fundamentally reshaped the digital world and all our lives. In 2016, we achieved a key milestone with Gigabit LTE. Groundbreaking for its time, Gigabit LTE further expanded what’s possible with cellular data.

Now, Qualcomm Technologies is unveiling solutions that enable the next evolution in wireless. The leap to 10 Gigabit 5G peak speeds – that’s 100x faster than early LTE and 5000x faster than early 3G! The foundation for this next phase of 5G development is expanded by the new 3GPP Release 16. 

Read on to find out how we get there.

4th-gen 5G modem-RF family to drive next era of 5G

While 5G is seeing massive momentum in worldwide adoption, we at Qualcomm Technologies are taking this opportunity to double down on accelerating 5G expansion with our one-two 5G punch — Snapdragon X65 and Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF Systems, our 4th generation family of 5G modem-to-antenna solutions.

Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System is the world’s first to reach up to 10 Gbps and world’s first 3GPP Release 16 modem-to-antenna solution.

Snapdragon X65 is designed with an innovative upgradable architecture. This allows for new Release 16 features to be commercialized rapidly via software upgrades and expands 5G to more application segments, including mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, industrial IoT, and 5G private networks. Snapdragon also features the world’s first 5G solutions featuring a 4nm baseband chip, built to deliver outstanding power efficiency with a tiny footprint. 

What does all this mean?

Expanding 5G to more segments – The innovative architecture of Snapdragon X65 and X62 is defined to help deliver the true vision of 5G. That is, one fundamental modem-RF architecture that can serve as the foundation for virtually all 5G application segments. These solutions are built not just for blazing fast 5G mobile devices but for transforming industries, whether that’s through 5G fixed wireless access for homes and enterprises or industrial IoT and 5G private networks.

Massive capacity – 10 Gigabit 5G is not just about peak speeds. It’s about massive capacity. More capacity in the network means everyone on the network can benefit with new and better mobile experiences, including faster downloads, higher speeds, and better low-latency gaming experiences. Such capabilities enable reliable and crisp video calls, and applications in impactful new areas such as telemedicine, first response, and healthcare. Lag-free and seamless access to cloud-applications can increase productivity and change the delivery of goods and services.

Unmatched flexibility for operators – The expansive breadth of features and spectrum support options built into Snapdragon X65 and X62 offers unprecedented deployment flexibility to operators and devices to increase attainable 5G network speeds and improve capacity with available spectrum. This is possible thanks to advanced capabilities such as mmWave-sub-6 GHz aggregation and unprecedented bandwidth aggregation for downlink and uplink. For example, Snapdragon X65-based devices will be able to support 10 Gigabit 5G peak speeds on both 5G non-standalone and standalone networks.

And yes, with support for all-day battery life, you can have your 5G cake and eat it too.

Driving 5G mmWave forward

We’re proud to drive mobile 5G mmWave commercialization around the world — a feat considered impossible not too long ago. Today, mmWave is seeing strong global adoption within the U.S., Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia. And we expect this to extend to South Korea, Germany, the U.K., and Australia. Soon, we may see mmWave in China, too.

With Snapdragon X65 and X62, we’re unveiling Qualcomm 545 mmWave Antenna Module (QTM545), our 4th generation mobile mmWave solution. QTM545 adds support for the 42 GHz mmWave band (n259) and is designed for extended mmWave coverage with higher transmit power, all within the same footprint as our last generation module.

Comprehensive approach for superior performance across the board

We recognize that in order to drive 5G forward, the underlying modem-RF system must continue pushing performance boundaries on all fronts, including power efficiency, downlink and uplink data speeds, network coverage, reliability, thermal performance, and device form factors as well as ease of design and time to launch for OEMs. This is why we innovate on all fronts needed to build such a system. Some of the key capabilities that allow this with Snapdragon X65 and X62 are:

  • Comprehensive modem-to-antenna solution – tackles 5G-related design challenges, and uniquely positions us to help OEMs to 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.

  • Comprehensive RF Front-End portfolio – supports our high-performance 5G platforms. This includes the Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracker QET7100, Qualcomm AI-Enhanced Signal Boost, power amplifier modules, diversity receive modules, acoustic filters, extractors, LNAs, and switches. Offering a comprehensive RFFE portfolio and modem-to-antenna solution allows us to quickly commercialize new bands being deployed globally such as n53, n70 and n259 (41 GHz). This helps our OEM customers to rapidly bring smartphones that take advantage of new spectrum, to operators globally.

  • Qualcomm 5G PowerSave 2.0 –includes support for new power-saving technologies that are just starting to be deployed such as DCI-based Bandwidth Part Switching, and newer features like Connected-Mode Wake-Up Signal, defined in 3GPP Release 16.

  • Qualcomm Smart Transmit 2.0 technology – introduces spatial-averaging techniques in addition to time-averaging for managing RF transmissions across multiple radios and antennas to increase data speeds and coverage for both mmWave and Sub-6 GHz bands.

Extending 5G leadership 

We’re very excited to unveil the Snapdragon X65 and X62 5G Modem-RF Systems that will drive 5G expansion in the next wave of 5G devices and experiences over the next few years. With Snapdragon X65, we’ve pushed peak speeds to an unprecedented 10 Gbps, enabling a new era of wireless capability and exciting applications and new application segments. 

Snapdragon X65 and Snapdragon X62 are expected to be in commercially available 5G devices in late 2021.

Learn more about the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF System in Episode 2 of the “What’s Next in 5G?” video series. See all six episodes here.

Battery life varies significantly based on device, settings, usage, and other factors. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm 545 mmWave Antenna Module, Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking, Qualcomm AI-Enhanced Signal Boost, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave, and Qualcomm Smart Transmit are products of Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and/or its subsidiaries.

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.

Francesco Grilli

VP, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies

Nitin Dhiman

Director, Product Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies