Qualcomm Technologies says 1 Gbps-capable LTE modem a step towards 5G

Qualcomm Technologies said the launch of sample quantities of the industry's first gigabit-class LTE modem is an important step towards 5G.

The subsidiary of Qualcomm this week announced initial availability of its Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which it said is the first chipset announced to-date that is capable of delivering fibre-like data download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Sample quantities of the modem are now available, and the company predicted the first commercial products using it will launch in the back half of 2016.

Qualcomm said the modem is constructed using a "leading edge" 14nm FinFET process, and offers 4x20 MHz carrier aggregation on FDD and TDD variants of LTE with 256-QAM. Uplink data rates of up to 150 Mbps are possible, utilising 64-QAM and 2x20MHz carrier aggregation.

Other features include support for Licensed Assisted Access, which Qualcomm stated is the global standard for LTE in unlicensed spectrum. That capability makes the Snapdragon X16 the industry's first commercially announced LTE Advanced Pro modem, the company said.

Cristiano Amon, EVP of Qualcomm Technologies and president of the company's QCT business, said the new LTE modem is a "significant milestone for the mobile industry" that blurs "the lines between wired and wireless broadband."

The Snapdragon X16 is also a step towards 5G "as we enable deeper unlicensed spectrum integration with LTE and more advanced MIMO techniques to support growing data consumption and deliver an even faster and smoother user experience," Amon explained.

Qualcomm Technologies separately announced the launch of Snapdragon Wear, a platform the company said will boost the wearable device market by offering manufacturers a full suite of silicon, software, support tools and reference designs.

The wearable device platform is paired with the Snapdragon Wear 2100 system-on-chip (SoC), which the company said is the first in a new product family designed to boost consumers' experience of using wearable devices.

Raj Talluri, SVP of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, said the platform and SoC leave the company "well positioned to extend its progress in wearables by enabling sleek designs, long battery life, smart sensing, and always-connected experiences".

For more:
- see Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 announcement
- view the company's wearable device release

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