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Qualcomm unveiled a number of 5G semiconductor products today for the virtual Mobile World Congress event, with the products including an upgrade to the chip maker’s flagship Snapdragon 888 processor.
The Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile platform is a follow-on the Snapdragon 888, and it will serve as the brains of smartphones coming in the second half of the year from customers such as Asus, Honor, Motorola, Vivo, and Xiaomi.
Between the two platforms, there are more than 130 designs announced or in development. Snapdragon 888 Plus fuels flagship experiences with intelligent entertainment, including AI-enhanced gameplay, streaming, photography, and more.
The platform has the full list of Snapdragon Elite Gaming features for smooth responsiveness and color-rich HDR graphics. Compared to its predecessor, Snapdragon 888 Plus offers an increased Qualcomm Kryo 680 central processing unit (CPU) Prime core clock speed at up to 2.995GHz and the 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine with up to 32 TOPS AI performance, which is a more than 20% improvement.
Christopher Patrick, senior vice president at Qualcomm, said in a statement that numerous customers will launch products based on the highest-performing Qualcomm platform.
Above: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile platform has beefed up AI capabilities.
Qualcomm also said more than 35 mobile industry leaders have committed to support its 5G mmWave technology for 5G mobile networks.
The company said that 5G mmWave brings higher performance and capacity than other flavors of 5G. The industry leaders aim to address the significant increases in user data demand, and also to expand the role of the mobile ecosystem in supporting the economic development of many industry verticals–which are critical in the post-pandemic world.
More than 180 operators worldwide are investing in 5G mmWave, according to GSA. Major global mobile industry leaders advancing 5G mmWave momentum include AT&T, Casa Systems, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Electronics Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Elisa, Fastweb, Fibocom, GongjingElectronic, HMD Global, Honor, InfomarkCo., InnowirelessCo., KDDI, Kyocera, MeiG, Motorola, NBN, Nokia, NTT Docomo, Oppo, Optus, Orange, Partron, Quectel, Rakuten Mobile, Samsung Electronics, Singtel, Softbank, SunseaAIoT, TCL Communication, Telia Finland, Telstra, True Corporation, USCellular, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
These companies are collaborating with Qualcomm to drive the availability of 5G mmWave networks and devices.
5G mmWave uses abundant spectrum resources in frequencies above 24 GHz to complement sub-6 GHz rollouts and unleash the full potential of 5G, Qualcomm said. The technology allows leading operators to add massive capacity to cellular networks, enabling them to deliver multi-gigabit wireless speeds and low latency connectivity.
These capabilities can help mobile operators to address everyday subscriber expectations for fast and responsive connectivity, and to expand 5G into new opportunities. Those include fixed wireless, and enterprise (offices, campuses). And they include vertical applications and services, such as Ultra HD video security, and precise remote guidance and control in various scenarios like telemedicine, smart factories, and smart ports. AT&T said it has mmWave 5G (dubbed AT&T 5G+) in parts of 38 cities and 20 venues across the country.
As the official partner of the Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022, China Unicom is deploying 5G facilities in and around the Olympic venues and will provide high-quality 5G commercial services with a set of leading 5G technologies.
Open RAN for Small Cells
Above: Qualcomm is adding new tech to help the spread of 5G networks.
Qualcomm also announced its second-generation Qualcomm 5G RAN Platform for Small Cells (FSM200xx), the industry’s first 3GPP release 16 5G Open RAN platform. It will enable 5G to reach more places around the world.
The new platform brings major enhancements to RF with its support for all commercial global mmWave and Sub-6 GHz bands, including the new n259 (41 GHz), n258(26 GHz), and FDD bands. Building on growing commercial momentum with FSM100xx, this next-generation platform is primed to take powerful mmWave performance to more places, indoors and outdoors and around the globe, while, in parallel, introducing new Sub-6 GHz opportunities with small cell densification in public and private networks, Qualcomm said.
The tech will take 5G into homes, airports, stadiums, hospitals, offices, and manufacturing facilities.
5G distributed unit accelerator card
Above: Qualcomm’s 5G distributed unit X100 accelerator card.
Lastly, Qualcomm announced the expansion of its 5G RAN Platforms portfolio with the addition of the Qualcomm 5G DU X100 Accelerator Card. This distributed unit (DU) will enable operators and infrastructure vendors to reap the benefits of high performance, low latency, and power efficiency of 5G while accelerating the cellular ecosystem’s transition toward virtualized radio access networks.
It can be used in public or private networks, giving carriers the ability to increase the overall network capacity of their 5G networks.
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