Qualcomm Technologies

Qualcomm looks to new wave of 5G devices with Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF

Comms tech giant intros world’s first 5G NR-light Modem-RF system with lower cost, reduced complexity, decreased power consumption and smaller form factors

Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System, said to be the world’s first 5G NR-Light modem-RF system designed to usher in a new class of 5G.

NR-Light devices, powered by Snapdragon X35, are seen as being able to fill in the gap between high-speed mobile broadband devices and extremely low-bandwidth NB-IoT devices. They can be smaller, more cost-efficient and provide longer battery life than traditional mobile broadband devices.

With its product’s optimised design and what the company claims is “breakthrough” performance, Qualcomm said Snapdragon X35 offers a device platform that bridges the complexity and capability gap between extremes in 5G, and addresses the need for mid-tier use cases. In addition, it is confident that its associated cost options will provide device makers with a long-term migration path to replace LTE CAT4+ devices, ultimately increasing 5G adoption and allowing for faster transition to a unified 5G network.

Key features of the Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System include a streamlined architecture Snapdragon X35, a 3GPP Release 17 RedCap modem with optimised RFIC and PMIC modules and 5G capabilities to create next-generation devices for a new era of use cases.

The streamlined architecture and high-level modem-RF integration are attributed with delivering superior power and thermal efficiency while enabling a small form factor design tailored to fit in compact devices. Snapdragon X35 is said to bring the “unique” mix of capabilities in data rates, power consumption, complexity and reduced footprint needed to cost-effectively enable new use cases such as entry-level industrial IoT devices, mass tier fixed wireless access consumer premise equipment, mass tier connected PCs, and first-generation 5G consumer IoT devices such as direct-to-cloud glasses and premium wearables.

With support for both LTE and 5G NR-Light, Snapdragon X35 is said to be backwards-compatible and future-proof, enabling OEMs to develop devices which coexist with a range of 4G and 5G device classes helping scale 5G NR-Light services.

“Snapdragon X35 brings together key 5G breakthroughs expected from the world’s leading wireless innovator,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice-president and general manager of cellular modems and infrastructure at Qualcomm Technologies. “The world’s first 5G NR-Light modem features a cost-effective, streamlined design with leading power efficiency, optimised thermal and reduced footprint. Snapdragon X35 is poised to power the next wave of connected intelligent edge devices and empower a wide spectrum of uses. We look forward to working with industry leaders to unleash what’s possible with a unified 5G platform.”

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In addition to Snapdragon X35, Qualcomm Technologies also announced the Snapdragon X32 5G Modem-RF System, a modem-to-antenna offering built to lower complexity and deliver cost-efficient NR-Light devices.

Customer sampling of Snapdragon X35 and X32 are expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and commercial mobile devices are expected to be launched by the first half of 2024.

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