Qualcomm announces the world's first 2Gbps LTE modem

The company has announced its new Snapdragon X24 modem in advance of the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the details will get you all hot and heavy if you're the kind of person who nerds out over high-speed mobile communications.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X24 supports up to seven carrier aggregation and 4×4 MIMO antenna arrays on up to five aggregated LTE carriers, which allow for a theoretical maximum of 20 concurrent LTE streams.

Just as that modem was embedded into the Snapdragon 845 chipset revealed in December, it looks that Qualcomm will integrate the new X24 in its next premium mobile chip, which is expected to power upcoming smartphones.

As the relevance, capability and intelligence of the wireless edge increases, Qualcomm Technologies continues to evolve its leading Snapdragon portfolio to better serve and accelerate the realization of the data driven transformation central to our 5G vision.

"This achievement demonstrates our continued LTE innovation, providing our customers with an unrivalled network experience and preparing our networks for future growth".

That's the promise of Qualcomm's latest LTE chip: the Snapdragon X24, which the company says is capable of hitting blazing-fast download speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. Qualcomm added that it expects to see 5G networks become more common in 2019.

Noting that Intel had previously announced plans to ship a 1.6 Gbps LTE modem next year, Moorhead said, "Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X24 sets a standard for high-performance LTE in a way that puts the goal posts out for Intel and others that will be hard to meet".

Among the final flurry of announcements to come from Qualcomm's big 5G day was, curiously enough, a new 4G modem. There is also full-dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO) to give way to carriers to start sending their 5G signals. That being the case, this 2Gbps modem would step in and help fill the gap a little bit, as it operates on 4G networks.

The modem's 14nm RF transceiver and QET5100 Envelope Tracker make the X24 the first to support 60 MHz envelope tracking, a technique that continuously adjusts the amplifier's power supply to keep it operating at peak efficiency. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born.

We're only half-way through February, and it's already evident that 2018 is going to be an extremely busy year for Qualcomm.

  • Fernando Stephens