Qualcomm Publicizes X55 Modem: 5G Multi-mode & New Superior ICs

It was just a few months for Qualcomm. The corporate had already launched in December the primary reference designs of the Snapdragon 855 and demonstrated the mixing with the 5G X50 modem. It's simple to overlook that the X50 modem has been in the marketplace for a very long time, as we reported on the chipset in October 2016 .

One of many largest drawbacks of the X50 modem was the truth that it was a 5G modem, which meant that it solely supported the 5G NR communication requirements and it needed to be paired with the modem within the Snapdragon 855 in To offer full community compatibility. This led to some cumbersome options, akin to the Moto 5G Mod which isn’t essentially the most elegant implementation from a technical viewpoint.

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Right this moment, Qualcomm seeks to handle this massive drawback with the announcement of the brand new second-generation X55 modem: a fully-featured, multi-mode modem answer. The X55 differs from the X50 in that it helps all communication requirements, from 2G, 3G, 4G to the newest 5G requirements, eliminating the necessity for a chip to work with a Snapdragon SoC modem. The 4G functionality of the modem has additionally been improved, providing UE LTE class 22 speeds of as much as 2.5 Gbps over 8xCA at 256QAM.

X55: A real world 5G modem

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Supply: GSMA

One of the crucial necessary facets of the brand new X55 modem is the truth that Qualcomm is the primary true world 5G modem. At 5G mmWave, the business has largely consolidated round three frequency ranges: 26, 28 and 39 GHz. 26 and 28 GHz are the primary pioneer tapes to be carried out by carriers within the subsequent few years. The issue with the primary era X50 modem is that it helps solely the 28GHz and 39GHz bands, that are largely supported in markets like North America. The addition of the 26GHz band within the new X55 will considerably open up different potential markets on different continents the place extra plans are deliberate to be used with a frequency spectrum beginning at 24.5 GHz.

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One other crucial change to the X55 modem is the truth that it now helps 5G NR Sub-6GHz in FDD mode. Beforehand, the X50 solely supported TDD frequency bands. Though this can be high-quality within the first iterations and service implementations, a decrease frequency spectrum at and beneath 800 MHz is simply out there in FDD duplex mode. This can be very necessary to have the ability to assist these decrease frequency bands as they provide the most effective vary and penetration. As community operators transfer the spectrum to 5G NR over the following few years, assist for FDD bands will give X55 modem units a for much longer life and future-proofing. Proofing. It must be famous that the X55 now additionally helps the sharing of frequencies, ie 5G and 4G can coexist on the identical frequencies.

The brand new modem can be made on a 7nm course of node, though Qualcomm won’t affirm whether or not it means the present TSMC 7nm node or Samsung's new 7LPP EUV node.

QTM525 mmWave Antenna Module: Allow New X55 Bands in Thinner Type Issue

After all, to assist the brand new 26 GHz frequency band, Qualcomm additionally needed to replace the RF elements. The X55 modem connects to the brand new QTM525 mmWave antenna module which changed QTM052 final yr.

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The brand new module additional enhances its kind issue by changing into even tighter than the QTM052: Qualcomm guarantees to allow it to ship cellphone designs as much as 8mm thick. The brand new module has the identical bandwidth of 2×2 MIMO 800 MHz because the QTM052 and thus achieves bandwidths of as much as 6 Gbit / s. Qualcomm is ready to promote 7 Gbps by aggregating with bands beneath 6 GHz on LTE.

New Options for Envelope Monitoring & Antenna Tuning

Right this moment we announce the announcement of two new RF companion options: the brand new envelope tracker QET6100 and the brand new antenna impedance dancer QAT3555.

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The QET6100 is just not the primary 5G-ET answer (ET can be out there for the X50 and for aggressive options). Nonetheless, Qualcomm claims that it’s the first to assist the 100 MHz add spectrum, whereas its predecessor may solely assist 40 MHz. Because the carriers enable wider frequency ranges, this can be an important addition to enhancing the lifetime of the tools.

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The QAT3555 permits higher tuning of the antenna impedance with a wide range of antennas anticipated for use in 5G units. Antenna Impedance Tuning avoids reception issues when customers maintain their system in a sure means. This was known as a "loss of life grip" just a few years in the past.

All in all, for my part, the X55 modem is a way more sustainable and chic answer than the one we launched within the X50. The band and mode limitations of the X50 inherently imply that some units have restricted assist in sure markets. The X55 appears to be actually world and above all affords a complete all-in-one answer, which suggests the modem is paired with non-Qualcomm SoCs / CPUs. Qualcomm expects the primary industrial units to reach within the second half of 2019 with the X55 modem.

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