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HomeWhat's NewNewsA 5G NR-Light Modem-RF System From Qualcomm Comes Into Light

A 5G NR-Light Modem-RF System From Qualcomm Comes Into Light

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The industrial IoT, AR glasses, and wearables are just a few of the new 5G use cases that is expected to be enabled in this modem.

With the release of the Snapdragon X35 5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. claims to have created the first 5G NR-Light modem-RF system. Between very low-bandwidth NB-IoT devices and high-speed broadband devices is where 5G NR-Light fits in. This new class of 5G called NR-Light bridges the gap between extremely low-bandwidth NB-IoT devices and high-speed mobile broadband devices. According to Qualcomm, 5G devices can be smaller and less expensive with decreased complexity and power consumption in smaller form factors thanks to the Snapdragon X35’s simplified architecture.

The Snadragon X35 is said to provide a mix of capabilities in data rates, power consumption, complexity, and footprint to develop new use cases, including entry-level industrial IoT devices, mass-tier fixed wireless access consumer premise equipment, mass-tier connected PCs, and first-generation 5G consumer IoT devices like direct-to-cloud AR glasses and premium wearables.

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The Snapdragon X35 is both backwards-compatible and future-proof because it supports both LTE and 5G NR-Light. It supports all sub-6GHz spectrum bands, FDD and TDD, and dual-frequency GNSS (L1+L5) to provide precise positioning appropriate for new industrial use cases and applications.

The modem-RF system also makes use of a number of Qualcomm technologies designed to maximise battery life, decrease latency, reduce power consumption, improve uplink speeds, and improve 5G coverage. These include the Smart Transmit technology, the 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite, and the QET5100 envelop tracking from Qualcomm.

Following are some notable specifications:

  • Cellular technology: 5G NR-Light, FDD, SA (standalone), TDD, sub-6 GHz, HD-FDD, LTE
  • Number of antennas: 1, 2
  • Peak upload QAM: 64 QAM
  • Peak download QAM: 256 QAM
  • Cellular modem-RF: 20-MHz bandwidth (sub-6 GHz)
  • Calling services: VoLTE, VoNR
  • Peak upload speed: 100 Mbits/s
  • Peak download speed: 220 Mbits/s

Additionally, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon X32 5G modem-RF system, a modem-to-antenna solution intended to simplify design and cut the price of NR-Light devices. In the first half of 2023, sampling of the Snapdragon X35 and X32 is anticipated to start. The first part of 2024 should see the release of commercial mobile devices.

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