Qualcomm announces new mobile platform and reference designs to speed up adoption of 5G

The chip maker says the new designs will allow equipment manufacturers to develop one piece of hardware and certify it globally.

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Image: iStockphoto

Qualcomm announced two new products and a set of reference designs Wednesday designed to make it easier for manufacturers to build and users to adopt 5G devices even faster. The company shared details on new features for the X65 5G Modem-RF system and the Snapdragon 778G Mobile Platform as well as reference designs for Snapdragon X65 and X62 5G M.2.

The Snapdragon 778G is manufactured with 6nm process technology and provides significantly better overall CPU performance and 40% faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation, according to Qualcomm.

"AI takes the wobble out of video streams," Arkash Sharma, chipset product manager for Snapdragon, said in a press briefing before the event. .

Nitin Dhiman, Qualcomm's director of 5G product marketing, said improvements to the X65 5G Modem-RF system will allow China to commercialize millimeter wave service and will provide mmWave service in standalone mode for 5G networks. 

SEE: Nokia takes 5G underground with successful tests of private networks in mines in Russia and Chile (TechRepublic)

Qualcomm said in a press release that the reference designs will speed up 5G adoption across multiple devices and industries. The two modem-RF solutions support spectrum aggregation, global 5G sub-6 and extended-range mmWave and high power efficiency, according to the company. The reference designs for a plug-and-play M.2 form factor will make it easy for OEMs to launch high-performance, 5G products for multiple devices, Qualcomm said. 

Dhiman said that the reference designs provide an end-to-end solution from the modem to the antenna.

"This is good for the end users but it also opens up other business models for OEMs because they can develop one piece of hardware and certify it globally," Dhiman said. "This approach spreads the cost of development across multiple devices."

The company shared the product news as part of the 5G Summit which is virtual this year and includes sessions on May 19 and May 20. On May 19, there will be a brief review of 5G mmWave and then 5G fireside chats with telecom operators. On May 20, Qualcomm leaders will discuss the 5G evolution and discuss 5G technology with industry experts. 

Snapdragon 778G 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm's new chip offers faster connectivity and more extensive use of artificial intelligence to improve photo, call and video quality. The Snapdragon 778G chip uses artificial intelligence to improve the quality of voice and video calls to improve noise suppression. The chip's second generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub integrates a low-power AI processor for certain use cases.

The new chip supports Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6/6E and 5G. This new chip also is designed to improve gaming experiences and add new features to photos and videos.

For gamers, the platform uses Variable Rate Shading and Qualcomm Game Quick Touch. The shading feature allows developers to specify and group the pixels in different game scenes to reduce GPU workload and safe power while maintaining visual fidelity. The quick touch feature offers up to 30% faster input response for touch latency, according to Qualcomm.

Sharma also said that the new chip will provide a 30% increase in gameplay while running more smoothly and longer with less power.

The chip uses a triple image signal processor to take three photos or videos at the same time, including wide, ultra-wide and zoom. Users also can record from three lenses at once. 

The AI engine transitions between cameras by assigning the best network for the task, Sharma said. 

The chip is designed for high-tier smartphones from Honor, iQOO, Motorola, OPPO, Realme and Xiaomi. Ruben Castano, vice president of customer experience Motorola, said in a press release that the Snapdragon 7-series is a critical component of Motorola phones and helps the company bring 5G devices to a broader price range.

A Qualcomm spokesman said that the company decided to launch two platforms in a relatively short period of time due to the chip shortage

"Given the chip shortage and very strong demand, we decided that we'll bring on the 778 from a different foundry to take care of demand at high tier," he said. 

Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System

The upgrades to this product build on the fourth generation 5G modem-to-antenna solutions which was announced in February. As the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G and the first 3Gpp release 16 modem-RF system, the chip design will accelerate the 5G expansion and improve coverage, power efficiency and performance for users, according to the company.

The new features for the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF system, including:

  • Extended support for wider 200 MHz carrier bandwidth in the mmWave spectrum
  • Improved power efficiency via Qualcomm 5G Powersaave 2.0 that uses UE-Assisted Information to optimize network resources for a particular application

Dhiman said that the X65 5G modem-RF provides an upgradable architecture that allows users in various industries to tailor it to specific needs.

"This architecture also helps us get a long shelf life," he said.

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By Veronica Combs

Veronica Combs is a senior writer at TechRepublic. For more than 10 years, she has covered technology, healthcare, and business strategy. In addition to her writing and editing expertise, she has managed small and large teams at startups and establis...