Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Science | By

Qualcomm's new X24 LTE modem can reach a ridiculously fast 2 gbps

Qualcomm's new X24 LTE modem can reach a ridiculously fast 2 gbps

"We're excited to demonstrate these advancements at Mobile World Congress and showcase how our technologies are created to expand the reach of 5G NR to new industries, new deployment and business models, and new ecosystem participants".

Catering to the growing demand for high-speed data access, Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon X24 as its newest LTE modem for mobile devices.

Qualcomm Technologies, Qualcomm's fabrication subsidiary, has begun sampling the X24 ahead of mass production in the coming months - it expects the standalone configuration to become available by the end of the year, and the X24 modem to make its way to consumer devices in 2019.

The X24, which is the world's first modem built on a 7nm FinFET manufacturing process, supports Category 20 LTE with 7X carrier aggregation and 4×4 MIMO on a maximum of five aggregated LTE carriers.

Qualcomm's X24 modem can reach speeds of 2 Gbps or about half the maximum speed of its current 5G modem. At top speed, it's twice as fast as the company's previous gigabit LTE modem, and while it's still unlikely to see those speeds in real life - which is more of a carrier-side problem - improving the technology in devices should still lead to faster speeds overall. After all, why pay for the fancy 5G modem (which will nearly certainly come at a hefty cost premium) if you don't need it? The highest carrier aggregation now supported in Canada is 4x carrier aggregation, though through the use of unlicensed spectrum carriers could take full advantage of the modem's capabilities. It is the Company's eighth generation LTE multimode modem and third generation Gigabit LTE solution, featuring the most advanced cellular features of any commercially available 4G LTE modem to date, and strengthening the LTE foundation for future 5G NR multimode devices and networks.


Qualcomm also stated that the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem delivers double the speed of the company's first generation Gigabit LTE modem.

Even Qualcomm is quick to admit that early 5G networks will likely have their share issues, just as the first LTE and 3G networks did.

It said equipment manufacturers will benefit from using the chip by offering 360-degree video, cloud computing, entertainment and "instant apps" on their devices. Additional system capacity improvements are made possible through support of Full Dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO), a Massive MIMO technology that is foundational to future 5G NR networks.

In the uplink, the X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3x20MHz CA and up to 256 QAM encoding. It'll demonstrate the chip at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain with Ericsson, Telstra, and NETGEAR. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.

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