The Snapdragon X70 5G modem from Qualcomm is smarter, not harder.

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Now that the new information superhighway is up, it’s time to tune up your engine. Qualcomm unveiled its X70 modem at MWC on Monday, claiming that it will improve the range of existing 5G networks when it is released in smartphones later this year.

Qualcomm modems are found in most high-end phones in the United States, including the Galaxy S22 series and Apple’s iPhones.

However, the competition is heating up. With the success of the Samsung A12 and A32 phones in the United States, Mediatek has announced that it would release its first chipset with an integrated millimeter-wave modem this year. Apple is expected to release its own modem in 2023 or 2024, according to analysts.

The Qualcomm AI Suite, which employs new AI processing gear within the modem to assist phones to stay connected to shaky 5G signals, is the X70’s standout feature. AI-based channel state optimization, AI-based millimeter-wave beam management, and AI-based network selection are among the new features.

When I tested the Galaxy S22 series, Qualcomm’s first AI-based optimization step, AI-based antenna tuning, may have helped the current X65 modem exhibit notably superior 4G and mid-band 5G performance.

“What are you going to gain out of all of this? Throughput, coverage, and link robustness all improved by double digits “Mike Roberts, Qualcomm’s worldwide VP of marketing, stated.

Qualcomm Modem 5g News

Qualcomm’s head of product marketing, Nitin Dhiman, stated that the new technologies make a significant impact. According to him, the AI provided 28 percent improved coverage of a 39GHz millimeter-wave system in tests in San Francisco by being able to adjust and choose beams better.

That would increase the range of millimeter-wave panels, which are now largely placed by Verizon and mostly in cities, from the 850 feet I’ve tested previously to around 1,100 feet.

According to a Qualcomm presentation, AI-based channel status feedback will assist increase speeds and connectivity across all frequency bands.

4x 5G carrier aggregation, freestanding millimeter wave, and dual-SIM, dual-active 5G are also supported by the modem. Those aren’t technology that US carriers will require anytime soon, but they do meet unique demands in a variety of nations.

Switched uplink capability may benefit US carriers since it allows them to combine low-band and mid-band channels for quicker uploads over greater distances.

The new modem, according to Dhiman, is considerably more energy-efficient than earlier models.

Will the iPhone 14 be equipped with an X70 modem?

Commercial mobile devices based on the X70 are expected to debut in “late 2022,” according to Qualcomm. That may theoretically include the next iPhone, but that is unlikely. Apple’s development process is extensive enough that the X65 devices it’s working with are most likely already locked down.

The X70 is likewise unlikely to arrive in Snapdragon-powered phones, though it is possible. The modem will most likely be included in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor in 2023, and phone makers like Samsung will wait for it to be included.

Instead, I believe that PCs and residential internet modems will be the first devices to use the X70. Qualcomm has previously stated that a PC chipset featuring a new CPU based on technologies acquired from Nuvia might be released in late 2022. The X70 could be a good fit for that strategy.

Because home internet equipment does not require an integrated phone chipset, it may be possible to utilize a standalone X70, hence X70-based home internet equipment may be released before phones. The majority of that activity would take place outside of the United States since the X70’s independent millimeter-wave functionality might open the door to new operators in other nations.

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