MWC19 | Qualcomm's next flagship Snapdragon SoC to get embedded 5G modem
MWC 2019 made it clear that 5G is one of the biggest tech upgrades coming this year, and most smartphone makers are looking to add 5G support for premium models first and foremost. Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and MediaTek already launched separate 5G modem ships, but none of the companies have managed to squeeze 5G modems inside a flagship SoC as of yet. Huawei and MediaTek announced that their 5G-ready SoCs should hit the market in late 2019; however, Qualcomm is not willing to fall behind, and the company just announced that the Snapdragon 855 successor is going to come with an integrated 5G modem and possibly launch before its competitors.
Current Snapdragon 855 handhelds can still feature 5G support, but this requires a separate 5G modem like the Snapdragon X50, which takes up more space and adds to the total weight, plus it requires additional power. A SoC-embedded 5G modem should reduce the needed power, even if LG with its new V50 model claims the separate 5G modem does not drain the battery faster. Additionally, an integrated 5G modem should also reduce the production costs, so upcoming premium smartphones are bound to feature more decent prices.
Talking about how the upcoming integrated 5G modems will help with the adoption of the 5G standard, Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon stated that “the integration of our breakthrough 5G multimode modem and application processing technologies into a single SoC is a major step in making 5G more widely available across regions and tiers following the wave of flagship 5G devices from the more than 20 OEMs and 20 mobile operators who have committed to launching 5G networks and mobile handsets based on our 5G modems this year."