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Qualcomm's Newest Chip Brings Power-Efficient 5G to Wearables

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Feb 8, 2023, 10:48 AM   by Rich Brome

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X35 chipset is designed to bring 5G to a wide variety of non-phone devices, including wearable devices like smartwatches, kids watches, health monitors, and XR glasses. The X35 implements NR-Light, a special flavor of the 3GPP release 17 5G standard optimized for such applications. By de-emphasizing raw data speed, NR-Light enables the X35 to be smaller, simpler, and cheaper. More importantly, the X35 is the most power-efficient modem chipset Qualcomm has ever made; it uses approximately half the power of the 4G LTE Cat. 4 chipsets it is designed to replace. Yet it still delivers faster data speeds than those chipsets, at up to 220 Mbps downlink and 100 Mbps uplink. The X35 also delivers many other benefits of 5G, including low latency, precise positioning, and 5G voice (VoNR). The X35 includes Qualcomm's advanced 5G enhancements such as envelope tracking and Smart Transmit. The X35 benefits carriers with the inherent spectral efficiency of 5G, and by supporting newer mid-band frequencies, so carriers can make better use of their whole spectrum portfolio. The X35 is also backward-compatible with 4G LTE networks. The X35 is designed for devices that can accomodate two antennae, while the X32 is a variant of the same chipset designed for single-antenna devices.



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