Qualcomm, one of the world’s leading 5G inventors, has introduced its newest modem technology, codenamed Snapdragon X70 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF (Radio Front End) system also uses AI and machine learning to provide “breakthrough 5G speeds, coverage, low latency, and battery economy,” according to Qualcomm. Qualcomm also unveiled an extended range of 5G Open RAN (Radio Access Networks) solutions. Client devices will soon benefit from a variety of AI-optimized performance advancements that are important for unleashing the full potential of 5G cellular connection in the years ahead.
Qualcomm’s 5G AI Suite and 5G Modem-to-Antenna 5G Solution
Qualcomm is presenting the Snapdragon X70 today, claiming it to be the world’s first 5G AI processor in a modem-RF combination. The Snapdragon X70 will offer up to 10 Gbps 5G download speeds, minimal latency, improved network coverage, and battery economy. With improved connection stability and AI-enhanced adaptive tuning characteristics, the whole 5G modem-FR solution will offer both sub-6GHz and mmWave (millimeter Wave) 5G band connectivity, including the following:
- Channel-state feedback and dynamic optimization based on AI
- The world’s first AI-based mmWave beam management has been developed for enhanced mobility and coverage robustness.
- For enhanced mobility and connection robustness, AI-based network selection is used.
- AI-based adaptive antenna tuning improves context detection by up to 30%, resulting in more incredible average speeds and coverage.
The Qualcomm X70 isn’t the first modem to employ a machine learning technique to boost performance. Last year, the business used the method to improve the antenna tuning of its X65 modem in response to shifting hand grips. The X70, on the other hand, contains a specialized 5G AI processor, which the firm claims are a first for a cellular modem.
In the ever-changing world of 5G connection, these adaptive, machine learning-enhanced capabilities are welcome additions. With a broad range of network operator infrastructure and spectrum availability ranging from 600MHz to 41GHz, 5G modem responsiveness and contextual understanding of signal strength and available capacity are critical. In short, 5 bars of 5G connectivity don’t always imply multi-gig speeds. The modem’s ability to beam manage and the antenna’s capacity to modify tuning on the fly is crucial for optimizing speed and maintaining a stable connection. Qualcomm is taking things a step further with the Snapdragon X70, claiming to have the world’s first 4X downlink carrier aggregation features for mmWave-sub-6 aggregation capability.
Fixed 5G Wireless Access With Standalone mmWave Support
Another notable aspect of the Snapdragon X70 is its support for Standalone mmWave 5G connection, which will enable service providers and multi-network operators to implement fixed 5G solutions without requiring the use of sub-6GHz spectrum with extended reach. This is crucial for the dense deployment of 5G mmWave customer prem access points. A fiber backhaul from the base station, for example, may be accessible, but the last mile to the customer is prohibitively expensive. A high-bandwidth multi-gigabit 5G mmWave connection may be offered to customers with relative simplicity, obviating the need for extra costly fiber deployment.
Snapdragon X70, with PowerSave Gen 3 and a low-power 4nm process
There’s no denying that a high-bandwidth 5G connection consumes a lot of power, so it’s no surprise that Qualcomm is working to improve that aspect of the equation as well. As a result, the Snapdragon X70 will be built on a cutting-edge 4nm (nanometer) chip fab process. It will include Qualcomm’s 3rd generation PowerSave technologies like AI-based adaptive antenna tuning, which “dynamically optimizes transmit and receive paths across a comprehensive set of user scenarios and signal conditions to significantly reduce power consumption and extend battery life,” according to the company.
Finally, Qualcomm typically makes its latest modem technologies available as discrete solutions and integrated solutions in its Snapdragon 8 series of Mobile Platform Solutions for smartphones and other devices. Qualcomm plans to start sampling Snapdragon X70 chips in the second half of 2022, with commercial mobile devices following in late 2022. However, it wasn’t explicitly stated, and the company doesn’t comment on future products.