The mmWave-sub6 spectrum aggregation capability of the X60 modem will result it much faster 5G connectivity
The newest standalone 5G modem to Qualcomm’s line up is the Snapdragon X60, announced today. Unlike previous generations of the chipmaker’s 5G modems, the newest one is built on a 5-nanometer process, rather than a 7-nanometer process, and offers millimeter wave/sub-6 GHz spectrum aggregation using frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD), resulting in much faster 5G connectivity.
“The X60 is about lifting the performance floor for operators worldwide, so they can […] offer the best 5G experience to their subscribers,” Qualcomm Sr. Director of 5G marketing Ignacio Contreras said during a media briefing.
The aggregation capabilities of the X60 platform allows operators “to double their sub-6 speed” as they move into standalone 5G networks by making the switch between different type of 5G waves much easier.
In terms of performance, Contreras stated that the modem will deliver download speeds of up to an impressive 7.5 gigabits per second, and upload speeds of up to a 3 gigabits per second.
The X60 modem also comes with Qualcomm’s third generation antenna module, the QTM535, built to deliver better millimeter-wave performance. Contreras explained that the new, narrower antenna module is designed for premium phones.
And while he was able to confirm that the new mmWave antenna modules are even more compact than the previous generation, he added that at this point, Qualcomm is not stating just how small the new antenna modules really are.
Where the X60 does resemble the Snapdragon X50 and X55 modems is that the latest generation is also a full stack offering, meaning it contains Qualcomm’s RF front-end solution.
Additional features of the X60 include a 5G PowerSave feature, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing and Voice-over-New Radio capabilities, to name a few.
The X60 modem will ship to manufacturers in the first quarter of 2020 and is expected to be available in commercial devices early next year.