BERLIN: QUALCOMM WILL SLOT 5G modem chips into its 7000 and 6000-series Snapdragon chips, bringing the best is has to offer in connectivity tech to its non-flagship SoCs.
Currently, you'll find Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem in the Snapdragon 855 chip, which can be found sitting pretty inside the likes of the Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. But those are pricey flagship phones and not something everyone can fork out on.
So at IFA 2019 in Berlin, Qualcomm's president Cristiano Amon revealed that the chipmaker is pushing down its 5G modem chip and antenna packages to its SoCs that you're likely to find in more budget-conscious phones like the Nokia 7.1 for example.
This is hardly surprising, given Qualcomm has done that with the AI Engine tech that cropped up in the flagship 8-series Snapdragon chips before filtering down to less powerful, but still perfectly fine Snapdragons.
But this is still a significant move for Qualcomm, as while Amon described 5G as a "global phenomena", he noted Qualcomm wants to see 5G spread in a big way.
"How are we going to scale 5G," said Amaon. "That is our next industry challenge. We launched this technology, but now we're committed to drive the proliferation of 5G across all device tiers."
"We want all of the users to have the benefit of this technology," he added, noting that Qualcomm wants to see the intensity of 5G roll out and its related ecosystem to be continued by all involved.
In short, we can expect to see more affordable smartphones with 5G connectivity pop up as 2020 rolls around and 5G network coverage expands.
The current level of rollout is arguably impressive on a global scale when compared to the launch of 4G, but we're still a long way from seeing large-scale reach let alone blanket coverage. So more 5G devices could help spurt network operators to expand 5G coverage at a faster pace.
Amon also added 5G will drive a move into other form factor devices, with foldable phones cited as one major one.
While Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X might look a bit like first-gen devices, foldable phones might not be a flash in the pan. That's probably because something like cloud game streaming supported by 5G connectivity would mean having extra screen space in a device that can still fit in a pocket would be genuinely useful as opposed to a bit of a gimmick.
Of course, time will tell on that one. But in short more 5G tech is on its way, and sceptic of the connectivity tech might want to look at nibbling on some of their words. µ
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