What you need to know
- Qualcomm has announced its latest flagship 5G modem for mobile devices.
- The Snapdragon X70 is the first modem-RF system with a 5G AI processor, which will improve connection and power efficiency.
- The X70 is expected to launch in commercial mobile devices in late 2022.
Smartphones using the Snapdragon X65 modem have only just started cropping up, but Qualcomm is already announcing its next-generation 5G modem for mobile devices. AI integration has been one of the biggest
buzzwords trends in recent years, and Qualcomm is leaning into this with its latest chips, including the new Snapdragon X70, which introduces Qualcomm's first 5G AI Suite.
Why does a modem need an AI processor? Qualcomm believes this will give 5G smartphones a boost by using AI to help manage connections to provide faster 5G speeds. This will be most useful for managing mmWave connections, which are often limited due to the fragility of the spectrum. Snapdragon X70 will use AI prediction to optimize mmWave beam from between the best Android phones and the cell tower. This is the first AI-based mmWave beam management, which, according to Qualcomm, should improve mmWave connections by as much as 28% when compared to non-AI-based systems, allowing more smartphones to better access the fastest 5G speeds.
Leaning on this, the X70 supports standalone mmWave so that service providers can provide fixed-wireless access and enterprise 5G using only mmWave.
The Snapdragon X70 also uses AI for channel-based feedback and optimization to improve throughput by as much as 24%. Along with a smaller 4nm node, the latest PowerSave Gen 3, and AI antenna tuning, the Snapdragon X70 can dynamically optimize 5G connections in various environments to provide improved power efficiency, allowing your smartphone to last longer while connected.
The new Snapdragon X70 supports the same 10 Gigabit speeds as the Snapdragon X65 alongside the Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite for improved responsiveness. The modem features global 5G support from 600 MHz to 41 GHz, 4x downlink carrier aggregation, Switched Uplink for 3.5Gbps uplink speeds, and mmWave/sub-6 5G aggregation. Along with the new AI processor, Qualcomm is now closer to enabling the global mmWave adoption that it has strived for amid the fight over the much-more accessible mid-band spectrum.
Qualcomm says the Snapdragon X70 5G modem will be available to customers in the second quarter of 2022, with the first commercial products ready by the end of the year.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.