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Qualcomm setting the stage to introduce 5G with tests and reference smartphone design

(FinancialPress) — Qualcomm (QCOM) announced that it has successfully completed its first test of 5G on a mobile device this Tuesday, setting a landmark in the long haul towards the implementation of the new technology.

The device used for testing the network’s capabilities was the X50 5G modem — which had been announced a year ago. The frequency band in which the test was performed was the 28GHz millimeter wave one.

The company also announced their first 5G smartphone reference design. The device will be key to test other 5G devices in development such as radios, modems and networks, with smartphone developers over the next couple of years. The tests will set the groundwork to release 5G-ready smartphones by the first half of 2019. The 9mm thick reference design also boasts an edge-to-edge display as to mimic many current smartphones appropriately.

Qualcomm developed a new millimeter wave antenna to make the X50 modem work on a smartphone form. It states that it can fit 2 such antennas into a smartphone and that it will be shrunk by 50% over the next year, despite the fact that it is already the smalles millimeter wave design available in the market.

It was also announced by the company that they‘ll release a gamut of components aimed to support T-Mobile‘s new 600MHz spectrum – currently in deployment phase. The LG V30 is the only smartphone in the market prepped to take advantage of that new spectrum. Qualcomm expects that, by the end of this year and the beginning of the following one, more phones will be able to support it.

To close off, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 636 processor –  their new chipset for midrange smartphones. Successor to the 630 that has just now reached the market implemented into phones, the new model enjoy a 40% performance improvement. It is only 14nm and supports ultrawide FHD+ displays, 600Mbps LTE connections, and up to 24-megapixel cameras.


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