Qualcomm's new X24 LTE modem features 2Gbps peak download speeds

Qualcomm's new X24 LTE modem features 2Gbps peak download speeds

The first phones to tap into ludicrous 5G speeds won't land until 2019, but you won't need to wait that long to start taking advantage of supercharged 4G LTE.

Qualcomm reveals that the Snapdragon X24 supports up to seven carrier aggregation.

Another leg of the strategy is to create more integrated RF silicon, because otherwise smartphones will run into power consumption and size challenges. Because of this, the first couple generations of 5G phones will still rely, at least in part, on LTE connections (just as phones now occasionally switch over to 3G when conditions are poor).

Qualcomm has announced what is likely its last LTE modem, the X24, capable of 2Gbps peak download speeds.

Alongside this, Qualcomm will also be showcasing its 5G Near Radio (NR) technologies, having recently completed successful trials at its San Diego, California headquarters.

It also the first chip to be made using a 7nm FinFET fabrication process and the first Category 20 LTE modem.

Qualcomm also stated that the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem delivers double the speed of the company's first generation Gigabit LTE modem. 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.

"The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem has been 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 Serge Willenegger, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G and Industrial IOT, Qualcomm Wireless GmbH.

Qualcomm's mobile modems still lead the pack but the huge chipmaker is facing ever-increasing competition from other players such as Intel; both make modems for the iPhone X and Qualcomm lodged a legal complaint about Apple infringing its patents - the latest in a series of legal disputes between the two companies.

At its 5G day yesterday (US time), Qualcomm laid out other 5G NR developments on its drawing board, including licensed-assisted access (LAA) for sharing spectrum between licensed and unlicensed applications; and Qualcomm's spectrum-share scheme called 5G MulteFire (a 5G version of a technology that uses unlicensed spectrum for LTE transmissions).

The Snapdragon X24 supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink, as well as 4×4 MIMO on up to five aggregated LTE carriers for up to 20 concurrent spatial LTE streams.

Qualcomm says that the fiber-like internet speeds that the X24 LTE modem is capable of will give us "mobile experiences such as immersive 360-degree video, connected cloud computing, rich entertainment and instant apps". Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.

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