Qualcomm announces the X50 5G modem

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon X50, which the company claims is the industry's first commercially-available 5G modem. The package is targeted at handset manufacturers and mobile bandwidth network operators, who can all use the X50 for testing as they roll out their next-generation mobile broadband networks.

The Snapdragon X50 modem operates in 5G's 28 GHz band in the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, and supports beamforming and beam-tracking MIMO antenna technology. Qualcomm says the X50's maximum theoretical download speed can hit 5 Gbps. The X50 only offers 5G connectivity and doesn't use the 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands, though. Handset makers are encouraged to pair the X50 with a Snapdragon SoC including its own integrated 4G modem for compatibility with existing mobile data networks.

The X50 solution includes the modem, mmWave transceivers, and a power management chip. Qualcomm expects to sample chips to OEMs in the second half of 2017, with handsets hitting shelves in the first half of 2018.

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    • NTMBK
    • 3 years ago

    Wow, now it will only take a few minutes to burn through my data cap! Fantastic!

    • CuttinHobo
    • 3 years ago

    Is it going to be like 5GHz wifi, where speeds are great if you have line-of-sight but penetration is awful?

      • Pwnstar
      • 3 years ago

      That’s correct.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      No. It’ll be much worse than 5GHz WiFi as far as penetration goes. Of course Qualcomm already knows this and has taken steps to mitigate the issue. How effective the mitigations are remains to be seen.

      On a side note, it would be nice if they’d flow down these techniques to the 5GHz modems. It would be nice to be able to use a less crowded band (compared to 2.4GHz) effectively.

    • blastdoor
    • 3 years ago

    I wonder if this will be used primarily for fixed rather than mobile applications. Maybe it’s cheaper to put up a 5g tower than run fiber to everybody’s house?

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    because 4g lte is slow? yay, gigabit(?) download speeds! because data is always unlimited on all carriers!

      • jihadjoe
      • 3 years ago

      Doesn’t necessarily mean you have to peg the bandwidth meter for hours on end. Everyone in the area is basically time-sharing the cell sites, so a faster download speed means a less congested network and an overall better experience for everyone, even if you’re only taking in a few kB each time.

    • Vhalidictes
    • 3 years ago

    Oh nice! 28Ghz.

    I guess that means that you can’t both hold the phone and get a signal.

    Bluetooth headsets, maybe?

      • CuttinHobo
      • 3 years ago

      People around the world will unwittingly quote Futurama:

      “Ow, my sperm!”

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Wonder if we’re in for a world of battery hurt like the first generation of LTE devices. Remember the [url=http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/smartphones/htc-thunderbolt-verizon-wireless<]HTC Thunderbolt[/url<]?

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