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Qualcomm's Next Modems Will Support Standards-Based Satellite Service and UWB

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Feb 26, 2024, 7:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon X80 modem and FastConnect 7900, its most advanced modem/RF solutions for 5G and other radios (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.) The Snapdragon X80 includes modem and radio support for the Skylo satellite network, which offers satellite service in cellular dead zones using the 3GPP release 17 NB-NTN standard and existing satellites from multiple companies. This represents an abrupt change in strategy after Qualcomm tried and failed to launch its own satellite service with Iridium last year. The X80 is also the first 5G modem to support six carrier aggregation (6xCA) and the first to support 6 cellular antennas (6xRx) in a smartphone. The X80 also has 30% better location (GPS) accuracy compared to it predecessor. The X80 expands the use of AI in the modem to improve data speeds, latency, quality of service (QoS), coverage, location accuracy, spectrum efficiency, power efficiency, and multi-antenna management. The FastConnect 7900 for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is the first such solution from Qualcomm to integrate Ultra Wideband (UWB), a technology that usually requires a separate chip. UWB is used for "proximity experiences such as digital key, object finding and indoor navigation." Uniquely, the 7900 can combine UWB with Wi-Fi Ranging and Bluetooth Channel Sounding for improved proximity performance. The 7900 supports Wi-Fi 7 and introduces a new AI function that optimizes for Wi-Fi latency vs. power usage by analyzing workload and context. This improves power efficiency up to 30%. It also supports XPAN, Qualcomm's unique new technology that can route audio connections over Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth. Both the Snapdragon X80 and FastConnect 7900 are expected to ship in the second half of 2024.

source: Qualocmm



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