31 October 2019
In the current scenario, 5G connectivity is mostly limited to premium and high-end smartphones and that is exactly what Qualcomm wants to change. During IFA 2019 last week, it revealed plans to bring 5G network to masses including those who buy or prefer to buy mid-range smartphones.
Qualcomm will release 5G-powered Snapdragon 6- and 7-Series processors in 2020 which is next year. These will be joining already available and upcoming Snapdragon 8-Series processors. It means the world's leading mobile processor maker will have a 5G processor for different price points and budgets.
These will be integrated 5G procesors that will allow users to enjoy high-speed 5G data transfer speeds even on a budget. Qualcomm said that it has partnered with a number of OEMs like Realme, Oppo, Vivo, Redmi, Nokia, Motorola, and LG. It has not mentioned when exactly mid-range phones loaded with 5G chips will be released but said that manufacturing is expected by the end of 2019's fourth quarter i.e. by December 2019.
Alex Katouzin, SVP and GM for mobile, Qualcomm said,
“Qualcomm Technologies delivered the world’s first and most advanced 5G mobile platform including the first comprehensive Modem-RF System to accelerate 5G commercialization in 2019. And we are uniquely positioned to accelerate 5G commercialization to scale globally with our OEM and operator customers with expanded mobile platform offerings across our Snapdragon 8 Series, 7 Series and 6 Series in 2020.”
Qualcomm currently has two 5G-capable processors named Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon 855 Plus. Both of these come with an optional Snapdragon X50 5G modem which means it is up to the OEM whether to use 4G LTE version or 5G version of the processor. It also means that the 5G modem has to be implemented separately which ends up taking valuable space. This is the reason chipmakers are now focusing on integrated 5G chips that have both the processor and 5G modem soldered on a single chip.