Qualcomm Demos First 5G 1Gbps Cellular Data Connection With Snapdragon X50 5G Modem

x50 modem
Qualcomm is well on its way to delivering 5G wireless connectivity for the masses, and has demonstrated its ability to achieve gigabit data speeds in a controlled environment. In this case, Qualcomm achieved the feat in its San Diego laboratory.

At the center of testing for these 5G wireless trials was Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem, which was using the 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) band. Qualcomm was able to maintain one gigabit download speeds through the use of "several" 100MHz 5G carriers. Other pieces to the 5G puzzle included an SDR051 mmWave RF transceiver IC, Keysight Technologies 5G Protocol R&D Toolset and UXM 5G wireless test platform.

x50 modem 2

The Snapdragon X50 5G was first announced exactly a year ago, and we're just now hearing about prototype testing. It supports MIMO with adaptive beam-forming and beam-tracking technology, has 800MHz bandwidth support, and is spec'd for maximum download speeds of 5Gbps once 5G networks are fully oprerational. Qualcomm had originally hoped to start sampling the Snapdragon X50 5G in 2017, with commercial availability in the first half of 2018. Today, Qualcomm has revised its rollout, indicating that commercial adoption will commence during the first half of 2019.

"This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumers around the world," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT.

qualcomm ref design

We should also note that in addition to successful testing of the Snapdragon X50 5G modem testing, Qualcomm has also developed a 5G smartphone reference design the can be used for testing purposes in an appropriate-sized mobile form-factor. The test unit measures 9mm thick and features an edge-to-edge display that is popular with today's flagship smartphones.