Qualcomm continues its advancement in 5G technology with the announcement of the fourth-generation X65 5G modem. Making it stand out is that it is the first 5G modem that offers wireless speeds of up to 10Gbps. That is 10x the speed of early LTE in 2010 and 2.5Gbps faster than the X60 5G modem.
The X65 (and the more affordable X62) are based on 3GPP Release 16, which is also called “5G Phase 2”. Aside from the blazing 5G speeds, Qualcomm advertises that both modems are upgradable via software updates to enable new 5G features–in principle, this is similar to the upgradable drivers found on high-end Adreno GPUs like the Adreno 620 and 650.
How does the X65 attain 10Gbps speeds? Qualcomm explains that this is done using a 1000mhz bandwidth with 10-carrier aggregation. As for the X62, the more affordable offering can attain up to 4.6Gbps and 400mhz. Both 5G modems support sub-6Ghz and mmWave, so they can be used with most 5G networks across the globe.
Both also use Qualcomm’s new QTM547 mmWave antenna, which can transmit higher power and supports a broader range of mmWave frequencies including the new n259 band (41 GHz). In addition to the new antenna component, Qualcomm incorporated an AI antenna tuning feature that detects a user’s hand grip more accurately to improve data speeds, coverage, and battery life.
The Qualcomm X65 and X62 5G modems are currently being tested and is expected to be used by manufacturers by late 2021. Aside from smartphones, both modems will be used for fixed 5G installations that Qualcomm dubs as “fiber through the air”.