Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 Harnesses AI Processing For Breakthrough 5G Experiences

Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 Hero slide
Qualcomm today is adding to its growing stack of 5G modem-RF systems with a new flagship model, the Snapdragon X70. This is actually its fifth generation 5G modem, preceded by the Snapdragon X65, Snapdragon X60, Snapdragon X55, and Snapdragon X50. It doesn't come with a raw speed upgrade, but it does introduce some notable enhancements rooted in AI.

As such, Qualcomm is billing this as the world's first 5G AI processor in a modem-RF system. What that boils down to is a suite of AI-powered optimizations to take 5G to the next level. In Qualcomm's words, these enhancements include...
  • AI-based channel-state feedback and dynamic optimization
  • World’s 1st AI-based mmWave beam management for superior mobility and coverage robustness
  • AI-based network selection for superior mobility and link robustness
  • AI-based adaptive antenna tuning for up to 30 percent improved context detection for higher average speeds and coverage
From a raw speed standpoint, the Snapdragon X70 inherits its predecessor's 10Gbps peak download capability, along with a 3.5Gbps peak uplink. We're at a point now where the hardware is waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up, in terms of widespread network deployment and device integration. This affords Qualcomm the luxury of tweaking and optimizing rather than developing a wholesale replacement.

To that end, the Snapdragon X70 is also billed as the world's only modem-RF system for all 5G bands, spanning from 600MHz all the way to 41GHz. That means it works with both 5G mmWave (24GHz to 41GHz) and Sub-6GHz (600MHz to 6GHz) networks.

Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 AI Slide
While there is not a direct speed gain with the Snapdragon X70, Qualcomm says its AI-based mmWave beam management helps increase coverage. Combined with AI-based adaptive antenna tuning and channel feedback, devices that employ the Snapdragon X70 should see better real-world throughput by as much as 26 percent and expanded coverage up to 28 percent.

"Our 5th generation modem-RF system extends our global 5G leadership and the introduction of native 5G AI processing creates a platform and inflection point for performance-enhancing innovations," said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, Mobile Broadband and Infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon X70 is an example of how we’re realizing the full potential of 5G and making an intelligently connected world possible."

This intelligent optimization also extends to power savings, with what Qualcomm is calling PowerSave Gen 3. According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon X70 delivers up to 60 percent better power efficiency by using advanced techniques such as multi-antenna optimizations. This is in turn can extend the battery life of your mobile device, the company says.

Qualcomm expects to sample the Snapdragon X70 to customers in the second half of this year, and says commercial devices will likely be out by the end of 2022.