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Qualcomm Releases Torrent of News in Run-up to Mobile World Congress

By Ken Briodagh February 22, 2017

We’re less than a week from Mobile World Congress, and in the run-up to the global marquee event for mobile connectivity, the preview news wires are humming with activity. Qualcomm is driving a gigantic amount of this news, not unexpectedly. Here are some of the most interesting points to watch.

New Radio 5G
The company has announced its first successful 5G connection based upon the New Radio (NR) work in 3GPP, expected by some experts to become a global 5G standard. The connection was completed with Qualcomm’s sub-6 GHz 5G NR prototype system, which is capable of operating at mid-band spectrum from 3.3 GHz to 5.0 GHz. The goal was to demonstrate how advanced 5G NR technologies can help achieve multi-gigabit-per-second data rates at significantly lower latency than today's 4G LTE networks.

Qualcomm Technologies will be demonstrating the prototype system publicly at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 27 through March 2 in the Qualcomm booth (Hall 3, Booth 3E10), as well as in the China Mobile Communications Corporation's booth (Hall 1 Stand 1G50) as part of their ongoing collaboration.

“In addition to serving as a significant milestone in 5G development, this first 5G NR connection is a powerful testament to Qualcomm Technologies' continued leadership in developing next generation wireless technologies that drive and track 3GPP standardization,” said Matt Grob, EVP and CTO, Qualcomm. “As we did with 3G, 4G and Gigabit LTE, Qualcomm is collaborating with leading network operators such as China Mobile Communications Corporation to ensure timely commercial network launches of 5G NR.”

RF Front-end Solutions

Qualcomm has announced that it is introducing a suite of comprehensive RF front-end (RFFE) solutions as a comprehensive platform from the digital modem to the antenna port. The latest additions to the Qualcomm RF360 family of RFFE products are the company’s first gallium arsenide power amplifier modules and the next-generation Qualcomm TruSignal antenna performance enhancement solution to drive superior RF performance.

“The ability to develop the key RFFE components, coupled with our leading modem expertise, allow us to push the boundary on overall system performance while offering high levels of integration,” said James Wilson, VP and GM, RFFE modules, Qualcomm Technologies. “Offering a comprehensive end-to-end solution enables us to make it faster and easier for our customers to create tomorrow's mobile devices, while providing better data speeds, more optimized signal performance and fewer dropped calls to consumers.”

Tri-mode System-on-Chip

There are two new System-on-chips (SoCs) coming, the QCA4020 and QCA4024. The QCA4020 is the first tri-mode SoC to hit the mass market, with integration of Bluetooth Low Energy 5, Dual-band Wi-Fi, and 802.15.4-based technologies, according to the company, while the QCA4024 integrates Bluetooth Low Energy 5 and 802.15.4.

Both QCA4020 and QCA4024 deliver features from the Qualcomm Network IoT Connectivity Platform, including seamless coexistence across technologies with pre-integrated support for HomeKit and the Open Connectivity Foundation specifications, and support for AWS IoT SDK and Microsoft Azure Internet-of-Things Devices SDK to connect with Azure IoT Hub.

“Qualcomm Technologies is bringing new interoperability for IoT and addressing ecosystem fragmentation by offering multiple radio, standards, protocols and connectivity framework support on a single-chip solution. This is a game-changer for manufacturers and consumers alike,” said Raj Talluri, SVP, product management, Qualcomm. “The addition of our industry-leading hardware security features allows manufacturers and developers to support applications including smart cities, toys, home control and automation, networking and home entertainment and offer their customers more advanced security that are cost effective.”

Android Things OS

Qualcomm just announced that it has plans to add support for the Android Things operating system (OS) on Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processors with X5 LTE modems. The Android Things OS is a new vertical of Android designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and Snapdragon processors are expected to be the world's first commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions to offer integrated 4G LTE support for this OS.

Snapdragon 210 processors running Android Things OS will allow manufactures and developers to harness the Google Cloud Platform and Google services over 4G LTE in their IoT solutions. Additionally, support for Google Cast for Audio in the Snapdragon 210 processor can help facilitate the development of innovative consumer devices, and Qualcomm said it plans to extend support of Android Things OS on a variant of its Qualcomm Smart Home Reference Platform.

“We are very pleased to add support for Android Things OS on Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon 210 processor and bring these exciting new development options to our IoT customers,” said Jeffery Torrance, VP, business development, Qualcomm. “Integrated 4G LTE, a first for Android Things, combined with our other wireless technologies, brings comprehensive connectivity and capabilities to the Google Cloud Platform. Developers are now able to create cost-effective, innovative connected devices and applications for both consumer and industrial IoT segments, which will help accelerate and expand the development of the overall IoT ecosystem.”

Second Generation Gigabit LTE Modem
Qualcomm Technologies has started sampling its Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE chipset, a seventh-generation LTE multimode modem and second generation Gigabit LTE solution, which is built on a 10nm FinFET process. The modem and its new Snapdragon X20 LTE transceiver provide a number of industry firsts, the company said. It is the first commercially announced Gigabit LTE chipset designed to deliver fiber-like LTE Category 18 download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. The Snapdragon X20 LTE modem peak speeds extend beyond Gigabit LTE by using Carrier Aggregation and 4x4 MIMO, which allows it to simultaneously receive 12 unique streams of data on as few as three 20 MHz carriers.

By supporting these fiber-like Internet speeds wirelessly over LTE, the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to offer services like immersive 360-degree video and virtual reality, connected cloud computing, rich entertainment, and instant apps.

“The Snapdragon X20 LTE modem is the latest example of Qualcomm extending our connectivity leadership and puts us at the forefront in driving global deployment of Gigabit LTE worldwide, laying an essential foundation for the successful launch of 5G mobile services worldwide,” said Serge Willenegger, SVP, product management, Qualcomm. “We anticipate that the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem will help accelerate the worldwide adoption of Gigabit LTE, allowing users to enjoy even faster data speeds, further improving consumers' always on mobile lifestyle.”




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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