Qualcomm introduced the third generation of the Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System, which combines a modem with an antenna. The Snapdragon X60 is the world's first modem block implemented using a 5-nm process technology. In addition, it is the world's first modem system that supports frequency aggregation across all key 5G bands and their combinations.
The Snapdragon X60 is designed to speed up the transition to standalone (SA) 5G mode: it supports key frequency ranges, modes, and combinations of them, including mmWave and sub-6 with time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD) separation, as well as voice transmission in the 5G NR network (5G Voice-over-NR, VoNR). It allows you to increase the average data transfer rate for mobile 5G devices.
To maximize performance in the mmWave range, Snapdragon X60 uses a new third-generation Qualcomm qtm535 mmWave antenna module. It is more compact, which will reduce the thickness of smartphones.
In addition to 5g FDD-FDD and TDD-TDD carrier aggregation and dynamic spectrum separation, Snapdragon X60 implements the world's first 5g FDD-TDD sub-6 carrier aggregation solution. Thus, operators can choose different deployment options, including using LTE frequencies for 5G communications, thereby increasing average transmission speeds and expanding the scope of new generation networks.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon X60 provides wireless Internet over fifth-generation networks with speeds and latency comparable to fiber-optic transmission. The modem supports download speeds of up to 7.5 Gbit/s and upload speeds of up to 3 Gbit/s, while frequency aggregation in the Sub-6 range in 5g offline mode allows you to get twice the peak data transfer rates compared to solutions without frequency aggregation. VoNR voice support on the Snapdragon X60 platform, which allows operators to offer high-quality voice transmission in 5G NR networks, will be an important step towards the global transition of the mobile industry from non-autonomous mode to autonomous mode. All of this will help you deploy the next generation of connected apps and features, from multiplayer games and round-the-clock videos to connected cloud computing.
Qualcomm also introduced the new ultraSAW RF filter technology. It emits radio signals in different frequency ranges used in mobile phones for receiving and transmission of information. By reducing insertion losses by at least 1 dB, Qualcomm ultraSAW surface acoustic wave (saw) filters are more efficient than a competing solution - filters based on bulk acoustic waves (BAW) in the range up to 2.7 GHz.
Qualcomm ultraSAW technology achieves superior filter characteristics to deliver high performance in frequencies from 600 MHz to 2.7 GHz with a range of benefits:
- Excellent transmit, receive and cross isolation
- High-frequency selectivity
- A Q-factor as high as 5000 or even higher – significantly higher than the quality factor of competing BAW filters
- Very low insertion loss
- Excellent temperature stability with very low-temperature drift in the single-digit ppm/Kelvin range.
This allows for more power-efficient RF paths in 5G and 4G multimode mobile devices – and at a lower cost point than competing commercial solutions with similar performance metrics for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Qualcomm plans to start delivering samples of the Snapdragon X60 and QTM535 in the first quarter of 2020, and the appearance of commercial smartphones based on the new modem radio system is expected in early 2021. Production of a line of discrete and integrated products with support for Qualcomm ultraSAW will begin in the current quarter, and in the second half of 2020, the flagship OEM devices with this technology are expected to appear.