Qualcomm has taken the next step in its journey of connecting everything, everywhere, at once. The company has announced the Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF(Opens in a new window) system, which it claims is the world’s first “NR light” connectivity platform. It features a smaller, streamlined design with a mission to bring 5G to more devices in more places.
It targets agriculture, construction, mining, education, connected healthcare, manufacturing, retail, smart cities, and AR/VR. Potential devices include laptops and connected PCs, sensors, surveillance cameras, health monitors, routers, tablets, and high-end wearables.
The Snapdragon X35 has been optimized to reduce cost, reduce complexity and improve efficiency in the smallest possible form factor. Qualcomm didn’t share its actual measurements, but said it’s significantly smaller than existing modem solutions like the Snapdragon X70. The idea is to make it easier and faster for device makers to take advantage of the growing global availability of 5G.
The X35 is based on the 3GPP Release 17 RedCap modem which allows it to maintain low thermals for compact devices. The modem relies on 5G bands below 6 GHz and does not support mmWave. It supports a single 20 MHz channel and is capable of peak download speeds of 220 Mbps and upload speeds of 100 Mbps. While it might not be much faster than what’s already available on today’s 4G LTE networks, Qualcomm is positioning the X35 as a future-proof solution as 4G networks die out over time.
It offers accurate location tracking. With dual-band (L1+L5) GPS support, the X35 can provide refined positioning results. This would be ideal for devices like smartwatches.
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Qualcomm says the X35 is now sampling to select customers and expects the modem to reach end-user devices in the first half of 2024.
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