Qualcomm's X24 Modem can Reach Speeds of 2 Gbps

Gwen Vasquez
February 14, 2018

While Qualcomm is aiming to bring the Snapdragon X24 commercially in the end of 2018, we probably need to wait for some more time, with premium devices in 2019 likely to come with the new modem alongside the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem to offer multi-mode connectivity.

The Snapdragon X24 modem claims to be the first to offer 2 gigabits per second throughput, the first to be made on the 7nm manufacturing process (which enable it to do more with less silicon), and the first to support 7x carrier aggregation.

Sampling to customers has already begun with the first commercial devices expected by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, Verizon hasn't even announced plans for a mobile 5G network at this point, and so it's possible the carrier will have no need for the X50 modem next year, and could instead choose the likely-cheaper X24 solution for its next-generation phones.

Above: Real world speeds provided by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. The highest carrier aggregation now supported in Canada is 4x carrier aggregation, though through the use of unlicensed spectrum carriers could take full advantage of the modem's capabilities.

More business-facing announcements set for MWC including the introduction of new Qualcomm wireless edge services for its enterprise base, and the announcement of a new LTE IoT software development kit.

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Alongside this, Qualcomm will also be showcasing its 5G Near Radio (NR) technologies, having recently completed successful trials at its San Diego, California headquarters. The X24 LTE will be an upgrade over X20 LTE modem found on company's flagship Snapdragon 845 mobile platform.

Moreover, Qualcomm also detailed the use of the 5G technology in areas like mobile broadband to smartphones, Always Connected PCs, head-mounted displays for virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality.

The new Snapdragon X24 can support up to seven times carrier aggregation and 4x4MIMO on up to five different bands on downlink.

It said equipment manufacturers will benefit from using the chip by offering 360-degree video, cloud computing, entertainment and "instant apps" on their devices.

"As the world's first announced Gigabit LTE modem to achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbps, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, created to provide enhanced mobile broadband and deliver an extremely important gigabit coverage layer for commercial 5G networks and mobile devices that are expected to start launching in 2019", said Serge Willenegger, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's wireless division. At the same time, operators can gain flexibility in using their spectrum assets to offer blazing fast speeds to consumers, while also improving their network capacity and maximizing spectral efficiency. There is also full-dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO) to give way to carriers to start sending their 5G signals. In the uplink, the Snapdragon X24 LTE supports Category 20 upload speeds with 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.

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