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Qualcomm has announced the new, 2nd-gen 5G Snapdragon X55 modem

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem. (Source: Qualcomm)
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem. (Source: Qualcomm)
Today, (February 19, 2019) Qualcomm has launched its second modem for use with 5G-New Radio (5G-NR): the Snapdragon X55. It is rated to support download speeds of up to 7 gigabits per second (Gb/s) and upload speeds of up to 3 Gb/s. Unlike its predecessor, the X50, this modem is also compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G.

A number of the world's first round of 5G-capable phones are likely to integrate the Snapdragon X50 modem in order to use these new bands. This, however, has not stopped its maker Qualcomm from releasing its next generation of 5G-New Radio (5G-NR) modems already. These modules will be known as the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55s. In addition to their basic 5G-NR functionality, they may have some considerable advantages over the X50s.

The X55 modem will support 5G in both its mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectral options. This may facilitate download speeds of up to 7 gigabits per second (Gb/s) and upload speeds of up to 3Gb/s. However, unlike the Snapdragon X50, it is a more multimodal component. It is backwards compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G, whereas the first generation is only rated to support 4G. 

The Snapdragon X55 modem is a 7-nanometer (nm) single-chip module. In the absence of 5G, it can download at as much as 2.5 Gb/s (i.e. 4G speeds). The Snapdragon X55 5G modem is compatible with the freshly-launched QTM525, a 5G mmWave antenna module. It is a new 14nm conduit for sub-6 GHz, LTE, and other prominent spectra. Qualcomm projects that it, along with the X55, will be ready for inclusion in consumer-level devices in about the second half of 2019.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > Qualcomm has announced the new, 2nd-gen 5G Snapdragon X55 modem
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-02-19 (Update: 2019-02-19)