Qualcomm couldn’t wait until the Mobile World Congress starts and went ahead to announce the “world’s most advanced commercial multimode 5G modem”, as the press release names it. The Snapdragon X55 is the world’s first 7 gigabits per second (Gbps) modem, and it is a successor to the Snapdragon X50 from two years ago.
It is built using 7nm technology, and supports all connections from 2G to 5G. It also features 5G New Radio (NR) mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum bands in both FDD and TDD connection modes — meaning it will be compatible with T-Mobile’s 600MHz 5G spectrum.
The announcement comes just one day before Samsung unveils the Galaxy S10 flagship. Considering Samsung and Qualcomm’s commitment to 5G, analysts suggest that Samsung will introduce a 5G smartphone in the near future, and Qualcomm’s announcement is an additional hint towards that. Samsung has its own Exynos 5100 5G chip, but will likely use the Snapdragon X55 for devices in the US that will run on the Snapdragon 855 SoC.
“This year, virtually every major Android [phone maker] will be launching a phone with 5G,” – Ignacio Contreras, head of 5G marketing for Qualcomm.
However, analysts might have gotten it wrong, as Qualcomm said it was shipping Snapdragon X55 chip samples to customers, and we will likely see it in commercial devices by late 2019.
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