These days Qualcomm uses a X60 5G modem – RF system is the more accurate description as it tends to sell its RF solutions together with its modem. 5G RF and filters got so complex, that a one shop stop is usually the best idea.
The Snapdragon X55 was the first modem to include Non-Stand Alone and Stand Alone 5G, as well as TDD and FDD bands and X60, is taking stuff to the next level. The X60 brings the third generation 5G and the third generation mmWave support. The new modem supports mmWave-sub6 aggregation, Sub-6 carrier aggregation across TDD (time division duplex) / FDD (frequency division duplex) and uses 3rd-gen mmWave antenna module (QTM535). It also brings a new feature called VoiceOver NR and all this in 5nm.
The unique set of features provides Snapdragon X60 ultimate operator flexibility to uplift 5G performance utilizing fragmented spectrum assets. Bear in mind that there are more than 10,000+ 5G band combinations used in various continents, countries, and territories.
7.5 Gbps peak speed
The peak speeds top up at 7.5 Gbps peak download speed and 3Gbps peak download speed. Apple will be the first to use 5nm for its A14 SoCs expected in new iPhones in September 2020 while Huawei and Qualcomm are expected to announce their 5nm later this year.
The Snapdragon X60 lets operators double sub-6 peak speeds in standalone mode, increase capacity while expanding coverage and improving user experience.
“Qualcomm Technologies is at the heart of 5G launches globally with mobile operators and OEMs introducing 5G services and mobile devices at record pace. As 5G standalone networks are introduced in 2020, our third-generation 5G modem-RF platform brings extensive spectrum aggregation capabilities and options to fuel the rapid expansion of 5G rollouts while enhancing coverage, power efficiency and performance for mobile devices. We are excited about the fast adoption of 5G across geographies and the positive impact 5G is having on the user experience”, said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated.
Let's address the 5nm announcement. It represents a huge step forward as it brings a small footprint and superior power efficiency. Qualcomm is not sharing any metrics but 5nm is likely to enable a very power efficient modem for Apple, and then, later, for Qualcomm SoC set for 2021 premium phones.
mmWave sub6 CA aggregation
The unique combination of bands and ability to combine more bands in mmWaves and sub6 will bring the ultimate operator flexibility for 5G development and Double 5G sub-6 standalone peak speeds
Qualcomm QTM535 mmWave antenna
Qualcomm QTM535 is the 3rd generation mmWave module narrower than previous generation antenna, for new, premium, sleek phone designs. That is something one can expect in phones launching in early 2021.
The 3rd gen mmWave module should improve mmWave performance. The new module brings global mmWave band support, including 26 GHz, 28 GHz, 39 GHz (North America, Korea, Japan, Europe, Australia).
The 2nd generation Qualcomm QTM525, will continue to sell and coexist, and it will support both X55 and X60 based platforms.
Qualcomm Technologies scheduled to ship samples of Snapdragon X60 and QTM535 in the first quarter of 2020, with commercial premium smartphones using the new Modem-RF System expected in early 2021. In other words, almost exactly a year from now of Mobile World Congress 2021 to be announced phones.