Qualcomm Technologies

Qualcomm unveils new Snapdragon, readies virtualised Open RAN with Viettel, advances robotics

Chip giant reveals next-generation of core Snapdragon platform with emphasis on smart transit and mmWave solutions, and deployment of virtualised and modular 5G networks

At its annual 5G Summit, hosted for the first time by new CEO Cristiano Amon (pictured above), chip giant Qualcomm has showcased how the company is attempting to address next-generation networks through the evolution of the connected intelligent edge and how to create new business opportunities for the mobile ecosystem.

Principally, the company announced new capabilities and milestones for its Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF System, building on the fifth-generation 5G modem-to-antenna solution announced in February at MWC Barcelona.

Using artificial intelligence (AI) for what the company calls breakthrough 5G performance with 10 Gigabit 5G downloads, Snapdragon X70 is claimed to allow to global 5G operators to maximise spectrum resources for the best possible 5G connectivity.

There are two main areas in which the platform is seeing use. Smart Transmit 3.0 technology is an upgraded system-level feature licensed by Qualcomm Technologies that now extends support to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmit power management. It enables real-time averaging of transmit power across 2G-5G, millimetre wave (mmWave), Wi-Fi (2.4GHz 6/6E/7) and Bluetooth (2.4) radios to offer what the company says will be “superior” radio performance.

Smart Transmit 3.0 also extends 5G coverage and improves uplink speeds, optimising transmissions across cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas. It is also designed to help devices smartly manage transmit power, allowing users to enjoy faster, more reliable connectivity.

The new tech also supports what Qualcomm says is the world’s first 5G standalone mmWave connection, with peak speeds of more than 8Gbps achieved using Keysight’s 5G Protocol R&D Toolset with a test 5G device powered by Snapdragon X70. The milestone took place in Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G integration and test labs in San Diego.

5G standalone mmWave allows for the deployment of 5G mmWave networks and devices without using an anchor on sub-6GHz spectrum. This, said Qualcomm, gives operators more flexibility to deliver wireless fibre broadband access with multi-gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency to residential and commercial customers.

Working with Vietnamese operator Viettel Group, the first player in its country to offer 5G, Qualcomm is readying virtualised and Open RAN networks to support the high-capacity and low-latency demands of next-generation networks which could enhance user experiences for consumers in Vietnam.

Viettel has committed to collaborate and develop a next-generation 5G Radio Unit (RU) with massive MIMO capabilities and distributed units (DUs). This is designed to help fast-track the development and roll-out of 5G network infrastructure and services in Vietnam and globally.

The operator will aim to achieve its objectives through use of the Qualcomm X100 5G RAN accelerator card and massive MIMO QRU100 5G RAN platform, combined with its own advanced hardware and software systems. This is envisaged to help Viettel accelerate the development and commercialisation of Open RAN massive MIMO solutions, simplify network deployment and lower total cost of ownership.

Qualcomm is confident that by combining Viettel’s telecommunications infrastructure development expertise with its 5G technology it can advance the cellular ecosystem and accelerate the innovation cycle.

“Viettel has been a pioneer in adopting new telecommunications technologies, including 5G. We are delighted to have Qualcomm Technologies as a key technology provider in our 5G gNodeB project,” said Nguyen Vu Ha, general director at Viettel High Technology. “This collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies and Viettel Group will be the cornerstone of Vietnam’s national strategy for Made in Vietnam5G infrastructure.”

Within the realm of robotics, Qualcomm is claiming to have advanced development of smarter and safer autonomous robots for logistics, Industry 4.0 and urban aerial mobility with next-generation 5G and AI solutions dedicated for the industry. The new solutions are designed to enable more productive, intelligent and advanced connected robots and intelligent machines to improve business operations, enhance manufacturing productivity and fuel innovation.

The company said that as 5G proliferates beyond the smartphone, it is attempting to act as a catalyst in enabling 5G to scale and revolutionise the robotics industry, introducing the Qualcomm Robotics RB6 Platform and the Qualcomm RB5 Reference Design.

Solutions based on the technology are designed to help unlock new commercial realities, including autonomous mobile robots, delivery robots, highly automated manufacturing robots, collaborative robots, urban air mobility aircrafts, industrial drone infrastructure and autonomous defence solutions.

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