Qualcomm has revealed the latest 10Gbps 5G modem, the Snapdragon X65, which, as part of the Snapdragon 888 chipset, has just begun to reach devices. With its latest flagship modem, the Snapdragon X65, Qualcomm is now giving a first look into what’s next for 5G connectivity. Download speeds of 10Gbps are a bit difficult to get your head around, but in just under one minute it’s approximately equivalent to downloading a 66GB 4K BluRay. Qualcomm claims that, with support for up to 10Gbps speeds on both standalone and non-standalone 5G networks, the new modem will be much, much faster.
These speeds are made possible due to the fact that this is Qualcomm’s first modem with 5G Release 16 specification compatibility. Importantly, this is an upgradeable device that can support new features further down the line through software. The X65 is a fully integrated modem-to-antenna solution like its previous 5G modems; Qualcomm has introduced RF front-end modules for 5G bands with full 100MHz bandwidth, more energy-efficient designs, and an adaptive antenna tuning feature that uses AI. Qualcomm basically offers the whole kit that mobile makers need for their devices to enable 5G.
The modem supports mmWave-sub6 aggregation (both FDD and TDD), with up to 10 100MHz carriers in the mmWave spectrum, designed for a tiny 4nm production process (current smartphone SoCs are at 5nm). As well as new support for the n259, n70, and n53 mmWave bands, there is also Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), 2×2 MIMO mmWave and 4×4 MIMO sub-6GHz.
Finally, Qualcomm is introducing what it calls “AI antenna tuning technology,” which it promises, thanks to AI-powered tuning, will allow big performance jumps. Close work between the modem and radio front end components requires achieving download speeds of 10Gbps and improved energy efficiency. To accompany the X65 modem, there is a new Qualcomm 545 mm Wave Antenna Module. It fits in the same footprint area as the module of the previous generation that is currently shipped on devices. So, at least, to support these new technologies, devices won’t have to become any thicker.