Qualcomm unveils 5G trial, gigabit LTE modem launches


Qualcomm has made its first successful connection on 5G New Radio (NR) as it unveiled a range of products and services.

Completed using the vendor’s sub-6GHz 5G NR prototype system, which can operate in mid-band spectrum from 3.3GHz to 5GHz, the demonstration showcased 3GPP 5G NR technologies including adaptive self-contained TDD subframes, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support wider bandwidths, advanced LDPC channel coding, and a flexible, low-latency slot structure-based design.

The company said it showed how advanced 5G NR technologies could be used to achieve multi-gigabit-per-second data rates at significantly lower latency than today’s 4G LTE networks.

5G NR is expected to be the basis for the eventual 5G standard when it is formally specified by 3GPP in 2020.

Qualcomm also unveiled the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, which offers download speeds of up to 1.2GBps. Qualcomm said that this is a 20 percent improvement in download speeds on its previous generation.

The modem provides support for up to five 20MHz downlink carrier aggregation across licensed and unlicensed FDD and TDD frequencies and 4x4 MIMO on up to three aggregated LTE carriers.

It is also the first Snapdragon LTE modem to support integrated dual SIM dual VoLTE.

The US-based semiconductor company also unveiled the first tri-mode system-on-chip QCA40420, which integrates Bluetooth Low Energy 4, dual-band Wi-Fi and 802.15.4 technologies such as Zigbee and Thread. It announced the QCA4024, integrating Bluetooth Low Energy 5 and 802.14.4.

The two solutions will support hardware-based security features and aim to address IoT fragmentation.

Qualcomm also announced new RF front-end solutions, meaning that its suite offers a full platform from the digital modem to the antenna port. New RFFE products include the QPA5460, QPA5461, QPA4360 and QPA4361 power amplifier modules and the next generation of the TruSignal antenna performance enhancement solution.

In addition, Qualcomm announced that it will offer 4G support for the Android Things operating system on Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processors with X5 LTE modems.

The new announcements follow Qualcomm’s launch earlier in February of two new Wi-Fi solutions that support the new 802.11ax standard in a bid to expand network capacity.