Qualcomm announces modem goodies at their 5G Summit

Features, an SoC, and an M.2 card

Qualcomm Snapdragon logoQualcomm is announcing a bunch of modem oriented goodies at their 5G summit today. The X65 adds features, the 7-Series Snapdragons get 5G, but SemiAccurate likes the 5G M.2 card the best.

Since there are no technical details released, we can’t go in to any sort of depth or tell you if these parts will be any good. In light of that, please excuse the glossing over of some things because we can’t tell you what the do in detail, just parrot back the press release more or less. If there is actual information released, we will be more than happy to go into greater depth but for now, on with the fluff.

Qualcomm X65 5G modem

At least the modem look like a real pic

First up is the X65 5G modem which has a bunch of new features. Qualcomm is claiming it is the first 10Gbit modem, something which is likely true, and the first 3GPP Release 16 modem, something which is definitely true. The new features are aimed at the Chinese market which needs 200MHz support in the mmWave spectrum. Guess what? X65 does that now. It also supports SA mode in mmWave frequecies, go team.

Couple this to some fairly impressive CA numbers, 1GHz in the mmWave spectrum and 300MHz in sub-6, and you have a lot of bandwidth to play with. 1GHz means 5 channels for CA which is not a simple thing to do. The sub-6 bands also support FDD and TDD, again not a simple thing to do but if you want to sell in China you need this. By SemiAccurate’s reckoning, no one else is close to this feature set.

Next up we have the Snapdragon 788G 5G SoC that takes a 788G and adds 5G. That explanation is about as technical as we can get, Qualcomm puts a lot of block names into the release like they mean something, but without any technical specs or anything to compare them against, they are just names. Long ones for the most part, unnecessarily so if you use the full approved nomenclature. We will spare you that but just know that 5G is moving down the chain as you would expect.

Qualcomm M.2 5G Modem reference design

Enjoy the cheesy render of an M.2 card

The last part is probably the least technical but has the greatest impact, a 5G M.2 modem card reference design. If you were waiting for fast WAN access for your PC, look no further than here. Take this card, plug it in, and if your antenna setup is right, you are good. Since the X65 can handle up to 10Gbps of bandwidth, this part is technically the weapon of choice if you want high speed I/O to your laptop.

PCs are the obvious use case for this 5G M.2 card but the real impact will be on the fixed device side. It can be useful as a backup for fixed line carriers, industrial tools, and more. Low latency, high bandwidth, and high reliability are arguably more important in machines and infrastructure are arguably more important in industry than user facing tools. Whatever the use case, the 5G M.2 card is here and can be put in both. About time.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate