Qualcomm yesterday has announced a slew of new 5G communication platforms, representing their next-generation modems, and RF front-end solutions that will be powering the next flagship devices later in 2021 as well as 2022. This includes two new 5G modems in the form of the new Snapdragon X65 and X62, a new RFFE portfolio with new envelope trackers, new antenna tuners, and new power amplifiers, alongside a 4th generation mmWave antenna module that supports more frequency bands and a larger frequency bandwidth.

Starting off with the new X65 modem, it’s a rather large generational upgrade compared to the current X60 modem that increases the amount of frequency bands as well as bandwidth that a vendor can deploy in an end user device.

In terms of sub-6GHz frequencies, the new X65 modem increases the bandwidth from 200MHz to 300MHz, essentially a 50% increase in aggregate spectrum that can be used. Such a wide breadth of spectrum is currently extremely rate in terms of 5G network deployments, but as the US is freeing up new mid-band frequencies for 5G usage over the next years, as well as other global markets deprecate 3G frequencies and reallocate them into 5G usage, we’ll be seeing more possible carrier aggregation combinations across larger variety of frequency bands.

On the mmWave side, things have also seen improvements as the available bandwidth goes from 800MHz to 1000MHz, and now adopts support for the TDD 41GHz n259 band, important for mmWave deployments in countries such as China and Japan.

The new modem, when aggregating across sub-6GHz and mmWave networks with the new increased bandwidth capabilities thus advertises maximum download speeds of up to 10Gbps. Of course, such peak figures aren’t too realistic in the real world, but they do showcase the vast increase in spectrum bandwidth available, which will translate to better transmission speeds in crowded situations.

Alongside the super-high-end X65 modem, we’re also seeing the release of the X62, which is essentially its little brother. In terms of frequency bands and standards capabilities, it’s of the same calibre as the X65, however it differs in terms of its spectrum bandwidth capabilities; sub-6GHz is reduced to 120MHz, and mmWave is reduced to 300MHz across 4 carriers, rather than 10. Undoubtedly this modem solution will be targeting devices at lower price points than the X65 flagship.

Interestingly, both new X65 and X62 modems are manufactured on a 4nm node – this should be Samsung’s 4LPE node which is a further iterative improvement of their current 5LPE technology.

The new 5G modem solutions and their RFFE companion chips are set to hit the market in late 2021.

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  • eek2121 - Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - link

    They wanted to become the "Walmart" of silicon instead...(and they succeeded).

    If you want 14nm/12nm stuff done on the cheap you can go to GloFo.
  • HardwareDufus - Friday, February 12, 2021 - link

    ufff, the number of folks I know that became redundant at that Malta, NY campus once they made that public.....
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 12, 2021 - link

    I'm fairly surprised they haven't licensed another node from Samsung. Maybe that'll be their long-term strategy - buy up "old" fab tech and mass-produce it while the other fabs do the research.
  • rocketbuddha - Sunday, February 14, 2021 - link

    LOL! Global F(l)oundries is good at making power points. Almost every shrink it had done, it had to do with a third parties help.
    Every node it tried, it had to run towards some one else to assist in producing it from IBM to STI to Samsung.

    So it has basically gobbled up all its small competitors and still produces the same s**t.
    Chartered Semi
    IBM micro electronics.
  • Silver5urfer - Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - link

    So much speed but in a mobile which has a limited lifetime of max 2 years until battery deteriorates, wonder why ? well It's just to keep people hooked to these social media devices more, what else since the phone can never operate like a pc. Locked to the brim.
  • The Garden Variety - Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - link

    Only the uncreative whine about the "limitations" of a phone because it is they who are locked into doing things only the way they want, on only the equipment they want. Don't be so surprised when all of technology leaves you behind.
  • Silver5urfer - Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - link

    The only Whine I see is yours, which is completely unrelated to it and uses a phantom technology superiority.

    An iPhone cannot function without Apple ID, an iPhone cannot work without iTunes for data transfer or need to rely on "tools" (3utools, bet you don't even know this exists), an iPhone cannot have an expanded storage which helps in the emergency case of data privac, Need licensed products to have basic capability like Audio (Made for iDevice program), Mac OS and iOS killed 32bit support which killed so many older applications and games, Apple HW is worse, since they use Soldered Storage, DRAM, KB, Batteries, proprietary chips which break any sort of user servicing in the name of blackbox security.

    Android phones have adopted the same filesystem castration standard with scoped storage. Any phone on the market has lost it's value more than 40% under a year and the technology getting outdated so fast vs a regular PC which has minimum lifespan of 4-6years, similar to that of Consoles. an i7 2600K is on par with some chips in 2020 and it is still relevant in gaming as the tests shown by Gamers Nexus. So is Windows 7 which can run COD, CB2077 and other games from 2020 and applications and MS security updates in 2020, which is from past decade, which got only beaten by market share by Win10 in 2018 only. Whereas any OS or HW from past decade is trashed and ended up at a landfill.

    A smartphone is just a camera focused social media tool nowadays, it has lost all of the FM radio, battery DIY, expandable storage, ease of serviceability, poor price to performance no matter how you dice it. Unless you are here to consooom / drink kool-aid.
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 12, 2021 - link

    "Android phones have adopted the same filesystem castration standard with scoped storage"
    Seriously, are you Quantumz0d? You have the exact same baseless complaint about a planned change that never actually happened.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - link

    This is why article chat sections need moderation lol
  • sonny73n - Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - link

    Has technology ever left anyone behind? You're hyping the so called "technology" that tech companies trying to scam with. The tech that you're praising causes much more sickness, disease and death than it cures them. Not to mention it changes human behavior in a bad way. Imagine in the future people like you will have a chip to help them think and act. Glad I won't be around then.

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