QUALCOMM HAS KNOCKED-OUT an LTE modem chip that claims to deliver speeds twice as fast as a fibre connection.
The Snapdragon X24 LTE might not sound like anything to get the tech glands all fizzy, but it claims to be the ‘world’s most advanced 4G chip’ able to deliver frankly ridiculous 2Gbps download speeds.
It hits such download speeds by aggregating up to seven carrier bands and offering 4×4 multiple-input and multiple-output or MIMO antenna arrays that can connect up to five aggregated LTE carriers to enable up to 20 LTE streams at once, essentially tapping into a much larger range of available spectrum bands.
At full whack, the modem chipset is twice as fast as any of Qualcomm’s previous efforts.
It also the first chip to be made using a 7nm FinFET fabrication process and the first Category 20 LTE modem.
All that speed means blisteringly fast mobile connections for streaming and other online activity; we’d imagine porn aficionados could get hold of some much grot that they’d break themselves.
But before one explodes with excitement, the crushing reality is that mobile operators are nowhere near being able to offer 2Gbps download speeds. The most advanced networks only offer three aggregated LTE carriers at the moment, so would struggle to get close to such a nippy download speed.
So what’s the point? You may be asking. Well, Qualcomm is targeting the Snapdragon X24 LTE as a form of gateway drug into 5G, offering speeds the next-generation mobile broadband looks to offer but on 4G.
“Further expanding on the use of 4×4 and LAA capability, the
Snapdragon X24 packs a powerful array of the most advanced 4G LTE technologies commercially available, helping mobile operators to fully mobilize their spectrum assets and maximise the capacity of their Gigabit LTE networks, and mobile device makers to offer
consumers a tangible glimpse of our 5G future,” spouted Serge Willenegger, general manager of Qualcomm’s 4G/5G and industrial IoT division.
While 5G tech and network testing is underway, a proper rollout of the high-speed connection is at least around a year away. And even when it arrives there will still be plenty of fragmentation between it and 4G connections, much like 3G is still around despite the spread of 4G.
So the Snapdragon X24 LTE looks to be a stepping stone from 4G into 5G when it makes its debut at the end of the year; we can expect to see phones with the modem chip some point in 2019.
Much like a lot of the more innovative tech that pops up on our pages, the Snapdragon X24 LTE is a modem chip ahead of its time, as while the tech is there the infrastructure to support it is not. But hey ho, at least Qualcomm is pushing the 4G envelope. µ
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