Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 Modem With Up to 2Gbps Download Speeds Unveiled

14 February, 2018, 19:17 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE: World's first Cat 20 2Gbps modem set to debut at MWC

Qualcomm's new 2Gbps LTE modem is an important step toward 5G.

The X24 achieves the speeds it can because it supports "up to 7x carrier aggregation on the downlink" as well as 4X4 MIMO on up to five aggregated carriers.

At full whack, the modem chipset is twice as fast as any of Qualcomm's previous efforts.

Hanna explained that's because 5G will support new radio spectrum (6 GHz will be the first to come into use) as well as existing bands, and OEMs won't want to be dealing with different chipsets for different bands.

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But before one explodes with excitement, the crushing reality is that mobile operators are nowhere near being able to offer 2Gbps download speeds. With new features like FD-MIMO, a "massive MIMO" technology that is a key part of 5G, along with the aforementioned support for aggregating up to seven carriers bands, end users will still see real performance benefits on networks that utilize these things.

So what's the point? "Further expanding on the use of 4×4 and LAA capability, the Snapdragon X24 packs a powerful array of the most advanced 4G LTE technologies commercially available, helping mobile operators to fully mobilize their spectrum assets and maximize the capacity of their Gigabit LTE networks, and mobile device makers to offer consumers a tangible glimpse of our 5G future".

Qualcomm has previously talked up the 5G X50 modem - boasting speeds up to 5Gpbs, but as it's a 5G chip it will appear in handsets after the X24.

The Snapdragon X24 is the first product of its type built on a 7-nm FinFET manufacturing process, which means all that speed could arrive in a smaller package than the X20. The fact that Qualcomm showcased 1.24 Gbps speed in October at the company's 4G - 5G summit in Hong Kong and as soon as four months later it managed to demonstrate the same modem with 4.51 Gbps speed. There are many other factors that determine network speeds other than the modem.

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The fastest available LTE modems, like Qualcomm's Snapdragon X20, are capable of reaching [theoretical] top speeds of 1.2Gbps.

Qualcomm's Product marketing director Sherif Hanna told Vulture South network services and devices are now expected in the first half of 2019, with a little snark for current "5G" demonstrations (without specifically naming the test at the Pyongchang Winter Olympics).

Qualcomm's third generation Gigabit LTE solution will be featured in a live demonstration at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra and NETGEAR. Last week, the company announced that its Snapdragon X50 would enter testing this year with carriers around the world and feature in 5G phones beginning next year.

On the part of uplink support, the Snapdragon X24 has three carrier aggregation at a frequency of 20MHz, two LTE streams at maximum speeds of 106Mbps, and up to 256-QAM.

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