Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE

Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE: World's first Cat 20 2Gbps modem set to debut at MWC

Can't wait for 5G? How your next phone goes supersonic in 4G

As Qualcomm reportedly prepares for a high-stakes meeting with hostile suitor Broadcom, the leading maker of smartphone modems is predicting 2 Gbps download speeds for smartphones this year.

As the industry moves towards delivering 5G networks and smartphone modems in 2019, the new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem's promise to deliver fiber-like Internet speeds delivered wirelessly. At the beginning, as carriers start to roll out their 5G networks, 4G LTE is going to still be important for many mobile users.

David McQueen, Research Director at ABI Research, said: "This latest addition to Qualcomm's modem stable is clearly a continuation of the company's drive to take the industry closer to 5G, while also significantly widening the technology gap from its competing suppliers".

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The company's top-speed 4G modem, the Snapdragon X24, supports peak downloads of 2 Gbps (with the usual caveat that you'd need to be the only person connecting to the tower), and the X50 will push that to a peak of 5 Gbps.

Qualcomm, it would seem, is starting 2018 with a bang. The X24 modem will likely arrive in devices in consumers' hands around the same time as the first 5G phones will, making it a key part of a hopefully smooth transition in 2019. It is the Company's eighth generation LTE multimode modem and third generation Gigabit LTE solution, featuring the most advanced cellular features of any commercially available 4G LTE modem to date, and strengthening the LTE foundation for future 5G NR multimode devices and networks. Qualcomm says it has started sampling the new modem, and expects to demonstrate the X24 live at MWC later this month, in conjunction with Telstra, Ericsson and Netgear.

The new Snapdragon X24 can support up to seven times carrier aggregation and 4x4MIMO on up to five different bands on downlink. However, there are several features that distinguish the latest development from all the existing mobile modems, including the Snapdragon X20 that will come into reality with the launch of the Snapdragon 845 SoC very soon. It supports Full Dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO), a Massive MIMO technology that is foundational to 5G NR networks.

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On the part of uplink support, the Snapdragon X24 has three carrier aggregation at a frequency of 20MHz, two LTE streams at maximum speeds of 106Mbps, and up to 256-QAM.

"The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, created to provide enhanced mobile broadband and deliver an extremely important gigabit coverage layer for commercial 5G networks and mobile devices that are expected to start launching in 2019", said Qualcomm's Serge Willenegger, SVP and GM, 4G/5G and Industrial IOT. And while most of us have marveled at the 10nm manufacturing process that is used for today's flagship smartphones, the Snapdragon X24 is built on a new 7nm FinFET process.

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