Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Qualcomm pushes LTE to 2 Gbps with 7nm Snapdragon X24 Modem

by James E. Carroll

Qualcomm introduced an LTE modem supporting up to 2 Gbps download speeds, pushing 4G to new performance levels.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is the industry's first-announced chip built on a 7 nanometer FinFET process. It is also Qualcomm's eighth generation LTE multimode modem and third generation Gigabit LTE solution and the world’s first commercially announced Category 20 LTE modem.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem delivers 2x the speed of the Company’s first generation Gigabit LTE modem. The Snapdragon X24 supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink, as well as 4x4 MIMO on up to five aggregated LTE carriers – both mobile industry firsts – for a total of up to 20 concurrent spatial LTE streams.

Qualcomm said mobile operators could allow devices that feature the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem to utilize all spectrum assets available whether in licensed spectrum or with License Assisted Access (LAA). Additional system capacity improvements are made possible through support of Full Dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO), a Massive MIMO technology that is foundational to future 5G NR networks. In the uplink, Snapdragon X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3x20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.

The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem pairs with an advanced RF transceiver built in 14 nm FinFET process technology, and the Qualcomm QET5100 Envelope Tracker, making it the first announced modem to support 60 MHz envelope tracking for up to 3x uplink carrier aggregation channels with simultaneous High Power User Equipment (HPUE) support in Band 41, engineered to deliver power-efficient connectivity for the next generation of mobile devices

One additional feature, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem brings support for the concurrent multi-constellation multi-frequency global navigation satellite system (GNSS).

The chip is currently sampling Qualcomm will host demos of the X24 LTE at Mobile World Congress in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra and NETGEAR.

“As the world’s first announced Gigabit LTE modem to achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbps, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, designed 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 Serge Willenegger, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G and Industrial IOT, Qualcomm Wireless GmbH. “Further expanding on the use of 4x4 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”.