Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 Upgrade Offers Better Efficiency, Wider mmWave Coverage

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 19 May 2021

Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem

Qualcomm is one of the most significant players when it comes to 5G. Today the company has announced an upgraded version of the Snapdragon X65 modem. The latest 5G modem is more efficient and supports wider mmWave carriers, an essential requirement for 5G mmWave rollout in China.

The upgraded Snapdragon X65 modem now supports 200MHz carrier bandwidth across both mmWave spectrum and mmWave in standalone (SA) mode. Furthermore, the new power-saving technology called Qualcomm 5G PowerSave 2.0 is expected to offer an all-day battery life. The Snapdragon X65 is touted as future-proof as it comes with software-upgradeable architecture. In simpler terms, Qualcomm can make improvements to the modem without any changes in the hardware.

The Snapdragon X65 was announced early this year. It is the world’s first 10 Gigabit 5G enabling speeds of up to 10Gbps. In 2019 Apple ended its feud with Qualcomm to procure its 5G modem. To achieve better speeds, the Snapdragon X65 aggregates mmWave and sub-6GHz wave. The aggregation also helps in better low-latency network coverage and increased network speed.

The iPhone 12 comes equipped with a Snapdragon X55 modem, while the iPhone 13 is expected to feature Snapdragon X60 as the X65 will be available only by the end of this year. On a related note, Apple will reportedly use in-house 5G modems by the year 2023.

Our Take

mmWave refers to the set of higher frequency bands ranging from 24GHz to 40GHz. The mmWave frequency set promises blazing fast speeds while being short on range. Due to this limitation, mmWave is best suited for urban areas with dense population or busy places like shopping malls or airports. Sub-6GHz is slower than mmWave but offers better coverage and is well suited for rural areas or even the suburbs.

[via Qualcomm]