Qualcomm Technologies, never shy of pointing out its contributions for making 5G come to life, announced the latest additions to its portfolio of automotive wireless solutions for next-generation connected vehicles, and it’s offering both a version for 4G and another for 5G.
The Snapdragon Automotive 4G and 5G platforms each feature integrated C-V2X direct communications, high-precision a multifrequency global navigation satellite system and RF front-end functionalities to support major operators across key spectrum bands globally.
The support for two separate 4G and 5G platforms is easily explained: Automobile manufacturers work at different paces, with some moving faster to 5G than others. To accommodate the greatest number of potential customers, it’s offering both versions.
The Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform is 3GPP Release 15-compliant and engineered to support FDD and TDD networks, as well as standalone and nonstandalone modes of operation.
Interestingly, the 5G platform will include support for dual SIM dual active to the car and driver to support two independent network operator subscriptions, which can be managed through remote service provisioning.
It is a feature that has been requested by automotive customers that are starting to see a significant increase in the need to have their own connections into the vehicles, according to Nakul Duggal, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies. At the same time, passengers and drivers are using the car for their own services, whether for Wi-Fi access or something else.
“This is something to keep the two separated, and this is something we’ll be introducing for the very first time really for this use case,” he said, noting that it requires the operation of multiple radio technologies at the same time, doubling the amount of RF that is needed for two different operators to be used at the same time.
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The connectivity situation inside cars has been changing over the past five years or so, but as the industry moves into the next decade, a lot of new functionality is now focused on being resident in the subsystem that hosts the modem, he noted.
The new Snapdragon Automotive 4G and 5G Platforms are expected to sample later this year and are planned for production vehicles in 2021. Automakers also will get a chance to access the new platforms through the 2nd generation Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design, which is expected to be available the second half of this year.
Complementing the Snapdragon Automotive 4G and 5G platforms, Qualcomm separately announced its automotive Wi-Fi 6 chip, the QCA6696, which is the company’s most advanced Wi-Fi solution. The QCA6696 features dual Wi-Fi 6 multiple-input multiple output access points so that it can support Gigabit in-car hotspot and deliver efficient Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the vehicle.