Snapdragon X24 blurs the line between 4G LTE and 5G

Angelica Greene
February 14, 2018

"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 Qualcomm's Serge Willenegger, SVP and GM, 4G/5G and Industrial IOT.

So 5G NR will enable very fast smartphones and later always connected 5G NR PCs, IoT 4.0 connected 5G industry and many other aspects.

Qualcomm also stated that the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem delivers double the speed of the company's first generation Gigabit LTE modem.

Qualcomm will be demonstrating its new modem at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month. Further, the new Snapdragon modem has 4x4 MIMO antenna arrays on five LTE carriers to enable a maximum of 20 concurrent LTE streams at once. Dubbed as the Snapdragon X24 LTE Modem, it is the company's eighth-generation LTE multimode modem and third generation Gigabit LTE solution, featuring the most advanced cellular features of any commercially available 4G LTE modem to date, and strengthening the LTE foundation for future 5G NR multimode devices and networks. There is also full-dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO) to give way to carriers to start sending their 5G signals. Interestingly, the X24 also supports GNSS for even more accurate positioning (if GPS fails, GNSS will pick up a fix from other systems such as GLONASS or Galileo).

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

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Based on a 7nm fabrication process (yes, seven nanometers), the X24 LTE modem is the world's first Category 20 LTE modem and supports an absolutely bonkers 2Gbps max download speed by aggregating up to seven carrier bands. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.

"We're pushing the boundaries of technology and providing unprecedented advances in LTE evolution by breaking the 2Gbps-barrier with our partners", said Ericsson's Joakim Sorelius, head of product area networks.

That's a lot of jargon, but here's the key takeaway: the X24 can sustain high peak download speeds even on congested networks. "Video streaming, interactive live concerts and sport events are putting an even greater demand on capacity and better user experience". We'll see the X24 get its first demonstration at MWC in cooperation with Ericsson, Telstra, and Netgear.

Think 4G LTE is fast?

If you're thinking how the Snapdragon X24 will be of use in emerging markets such as India and China, Qualcomm has provided multi-SIM support with LTE dual-SIM, dual-standby (DSDS)+LAA feature as well as dual-SIM, dual-VoLTE (DSDV) functionality. It's coming to flagship phones late this year and into 2019.

Other reports by GizPress

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