Qualcomm shrinks its 5G RF transceivers by another 25%

Qualcomm released its first practical 5G RF module earlier this year in the form of the QTM052, but the company apparently wasn't done shrinking those modules to sizes usable in today's razor-thin smartphone designs. The company has added a smaller version of the QTM052 to its family of RF modules, and the further-shrunken version cuts the size of the original module by 25%. Qualcomm says the size reduction of the latest QTM052 module gives handset OEMs more options for antenna placement, and by extension, more flexibility as they develop the first 5G handsets for release in the next couple of years.

Old module on left, new on right

Like their predecessors, the further-miniaturized QTM052 modules work with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem to provide connectivity, and the company expects phone makers to integrate as many as four of these modules in handsets. The modules themselves include a 5G NR transceiver, a power-management IC, RF front-end components, and a phased antenna array. They support as much as 800 MHz of bandwidth in the 26.5-to-29.5-GHz, 27.5-to-28.35-GHz, and 37-to-40-GHz bands.

Companies interested in building 5G handsets likely already have Qualcomm on speed dial, but for those who don't, the company says it's already sampling the smaller modules to customers and expects them to launch in 5G NR phones early next year.

Comments closed
    • elites2012
    • 1 year ago

    dont get to close to a running microwave while texting.

    • DPete27
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]as much as 800 MHz of bandwidth[/quote<] Is this the correct units?

      • DancinJack
      • 1 year ago

      Yes.

      For instance, the current X16 LTE modem supports up to 80MHz of badwidth for DL I believe. (that’s 4x20MHz CA) Maybe they call it “120MHz” because it also supports 2x20MHz CA on upload. I don’t know exactly.

      edit – to clarify, channels in the mmwave spectrum are way bigger than in the lower GHz bands. I think the biggest channel is 400MHz, so with 2x CA you could reach the 800MHz figure.

    • gmskking
    • 1 year ago

    Wow, it looks just like a penny.

      • Peldor
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah, but it’s so 2007.

    • green
    • 1 year ago

    is this supposed to be impressive?
    based on the post image it looks like they achieved the “shrinkage” by literally lopping off what appears to be an unused part of the pcb at the bottom, and tidying up the chip “cut” to remove excess silicon that wasn’t doing anything anyway
    ie. no actual shrinkage, just doing a better job than what they originally churned out

      • mvp324
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah, that is definitely, what they did. The first image of the module, most likely was prototype or proof of production capability (I can’t think of the right word). Instead of being short and stocky, in the first image, they just extended the module and made it cleaner looking. I don’t have photoshop, but I wonder how the first module would look if the PCB was cut and cleaned up, then overplayed the new module.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    [b<]Qualcomm:[/b<] [i<]"Look, we shrunk our components so that your phones can have better signal, bigger batteries, and longer battery life!"[/i<] [b<]Phone Manufacturers:[/b<] [i<]"With the latest ultra-small components, we've made our New iGalaxy Edge 3+ 25% thinner, 20% lighter, and 140% more fragile! Buy yours now, prices starting from just $1499"[/i<]

      • DavidC1
      • 1 year ago

      My family has a case for their phones that make them twice as thick and heavy. Among them, my brother’s case/battery-pack-in-1 is way heavier than the Galaxy S8 phone he’s using.

      Sure the thinness makes them look pretty, but if you want to grip in a way so you won’t break it the same day you get them, its lot less prettier after getting a case for them.

      Being thin, *may* be worth it if its so thin that it can be thin as the phones shown in sci-fi. I’m talking credit card thickness. Otherwise, forget it!

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      Don’t forget “we removed that physical USB port, because corded charging is so 2017.”

        • chuckula
        • 1 year ago

        It took a lot of courage for us to remove all phone ports.

          • Chrispy_
          • 1 year ago

          [i<]*courage sold separately[/i<]

    • willmore
    • 1 year ago

    What do you know about those frequency ranges:
    26.5-29.5
    27.5-28.35
    37-40?

    The second one is a subset of the first, so it seems strange to mention it. Are they the allocated ranges for different geographic areas? I would guess that there will be modules specific to a frequency range as phased array antennas aren’t known for being broad banded.

      • UberGerbil
      • 1 year ago

      26.5-29.5 is n257 (global) whereas 27.5-28.35 is n261 (North America) (and 37-40 is n260, also global). See [url<]http://niviuk.free.fr/nr_band.php[/url<]

        • willmore
        • 1 year ago

        Thank you!

    • Growler
    • 1 year ago

    It was in the pool!

    • enixenigma
    • 1 year ago

    Impressive shrinkage!

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