Notebookcheck
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

Towards a ubiquitous 5G future: Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system aggregates mmWave and sub-6 GHz for high peak data speeds

Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 is the first to aggregate various 5G spectra for enhanced peak data speeds. (Image Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 is the first to aggregate various 5G spectra for enhanced peak data speeds. (Image Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm has announced the launch of its latest Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system. The Snapdragon X60 aims to unify worldwide 5G implementation by aggregating mmWave and sub-6 GHz frequencies. The Snapdragon X60 also supports Voice over New Radio and the new 3rd gen mmWave QTM535 antenna that uses Qualcomm's ultraSAW filter technology for efficient isolation and processing of RF signals.
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system to drive 5G adoption and offer flexibility for network operators and users. The Snapdragon X60 upgrades the capabilities of the currently available Snapdragon X55 5G modem that is found in most 5G devices today. 

5G services are now wide but not unified

Qualcomm said that nearly 45 providers are now offering 5G but with nearly 10,000 tape combinations possible across the world, there is large disparity in the services offered. Some providers chose to opt for the high-performing mmWave frequencies while others seem to prefer the wider range of the sub 6-GHz spectrum even if it means sacrificing some speed. Also, not all phones seem to support all types of 5G networks. For example, in the recently announced Galaxy S20 series, only the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy S20+ support mmWave while the Galaxy S20 is limited to sub-6 GHz. Today's launch of the Snapdragon X60 should alleviate most of these concerns. 

5G carrier aggregation is the future

The Snapdragon X60 is the first full-stack 5G modem to be made on TSMC's 5nm process. It offers enhanced aggregation capabilities that enable higher peak speeds within the available spectrum range; speeds can go up to 7.5 Gbps down and 3 Gbps up. The X60 supports simultaneous carrier aggregation of 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz. It can also do sub-6 GHz aggregation across FDD and TDD network types (FDD and FDD, FDD and TDD, or TDD and TDD). This enables operators to maximize spectrum usage and capacity by combining the high performance of mmWave frequencies and the wide-range capability of sub-6 GHz frequencies. This is also a boon for users, who can now can roam freely across countries without having to worry about 5G band support. 

The Snapdragon X60 is also the first fully standalone chipset to support Voice over New Radio. This eliminates the need to fallback over to 4G for voice. 

QTM535 antenna and the new ultraSAW filter

Qualcomm's first 5G NR antennas, the QTM052 and QPM56xx, were designed to cater for mmWave and sub-6 GHz, respectively and they worked in tandem with the Snapdragon X50 modem. Then, at IFA 2019, Qualcomm introduced the QTM527 antenna that brought 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) capabilities with support for beamforming, beam steering, and beam tracking.

Now, Qualcomm is introducing the QTM535 antenna featuring a 3rd gen mmWave module offered in combination with the Snapdragon X60 modem (hence the 5G modem-RF system moniker). Qualcomm's slides did not provide information on how small the QTM535 would be in comparison to the previous generation but did say that that it is "narrower" to enable sleek devices. 

The QTM535 supports global mmWave frequencies including 26 GHz, 28 GHz, and 39 GHz, which should effectively cover North America, Korea, Japan, Europe, and Australia.

The QTM535 uses the ultraSAW (surface acoustic wave) filter technology that is touted to better isolate and process RF signals from different frequencies ranging from 600 MHz to 2.7 GHz compared to existing BAW (bulk acoustic wave) filters. ultraSAW has a quality factor of 5000 and is integrated across Qualcomm's entire lineup from modem to antennas. 

Qualcomm did not offer any timeline for the Snapdragon X60 availability but taking TSMC's current production capabilities into account, we expect improved 5nm yields only sometime in 2021 although OEMs are likely to sampled with these modems later this year. We should be able to know more during the company's annual Tech Summit come December.

Check out slides from Qualcomm's briefing below.

Source(s)

Qualcomm Briefing

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1358 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Towards a ubiquitous 5G future: Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system aggregates mmWave and sub-6 GHz for high peak data speeds
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-02-18 (Update: 2020-02-18)