Skip to main content

Qualcomm’s X60 5G modem will power the next generation of 5G flagship phones

Qualcomm is bringing the 5G connectivity in today’s phones to the next level: The company has announced the new Qualcomm X60 modem, which Qualcomm says will help bring 5G into the mainstream through a new generation of flagship smartphones.

5G in general is likely to take off in 2020. Carriers including Verizon, AT&T, and the new T-Mobile/Sprint are finally widely rolling out their 5G networks, and smartphone manufacturers like Samsung are beginning to build 5G into their smartphones by default — rather than offering a special 5G-enabled version of a device that costs a lot extra.

Here at #SamsungEvent for #Unpacked2020. @Qualcomm in full force to support our congratulate our awesome partners from @SamsungMobile ????. #5GisHere.

— Cristiano R. Amon (@cristianoamon) February 11, 2020

The X60 is Qualcomm’s 3rd-generation 5G modem, and offers a few features over previous-generation 5G modems. For example, the modem is built on a 5-nanometer process — down from 7 in previous-generation modems. Not only that, but the modem offers features like millimeter-wave-sub6 spectrum aggregation. The result? You’ll get faster 5G connectivity, that can more easily switch between different types of 5G waves, and take advantage of the connections that are available. According to Qualcomm, the modem will deliver download speeds of up to a whopping 7.5 gigabits per second, and upload speeds of up to an impressive 3 gigabits per second — though the speeds you get will obviously vary widely depending on things like what your carrier offers and how many people are connected to the cell tower.

The X60 modem also comes with Qualcomm’s new QTM535 antenna module, which is built to offer better millimeter-wave performance. The antenna design is sleeker and more compact than previous-generation antennas, freeing up space inside a phone for other things, or allowing companies to make slimmer devices. (Although companies like Apple think it isn’t small enough.)

“Qualcomm Technologies is at the heart of 5G launches globally with mobile operators and OEMs introducing 5G services and mobile devices at record pace,” said Qualcomm in a statement. “As 5G standalone networks are introduced in 2020, our third-generation 5G modem-RF platform brings extensive spectrum aggregation capabilities and options to fuel the rapid expansion of 5G rollouts while enhancing coverage, power efficiency and performance for mobile devices.”

Qualcomm says the X60 modem will ship to manufacturers in the first quarter of 2020, and is expected to be available in commercial devices in early 2021. Because of the timeline, we expect the modern to ship alongside the next-generation Qualcomm mobile platform, which will be a follow-up to the Snapdragon 865.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
What is 5G UC? Here’s what that icon on your phone really means
5G logo on the Motorola Edge (2022).

If you own a 5G-capable smartphone — which are all of the best phones today — there’s a good chance you’ve seen different 5G network icons showing up in your status bar. It’s a stark contrast to the pre-5G days when your phone showed “4G” or “LTE” no matter where you went.

It can get a bit confusing to see a 5G indicator one moment and then “5G UC” or “5G UW” the next. It’s not something you need to worry too much about, as you don’t usually have much control over it, but it’s still helpful to understand what these different symbols mean — and why they matter.
The humble beginnings of 5G

Read more
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X75 ushers in the next era of 5G connectivity
Qualcomm Snapdragon X75.

Qualcomm has just announced the Snapdragon X75, the company's sixth-generation 5G modem that promises to push smartphones and other connected devices into the next phase of 5G technology.

The Snapdragon X75 is the successor to last year's X70, which is the modem found in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that powers this year's most powerful 5G smartphones — including Samsung's recently unveiled Galaxy S23 Ultra and the OnePlus 11. However, it's more than just an evolution of that earlier modem system, as Qualcomm has packed in support for next-generation 5G Advanced technology along with an entirely new architecture and powerful AI features that will allow mobile devices to access better coverage and achieve even faster speeds.
5G grows up big-time

Read more
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 will bring 5G to your next smartwatch
Qualcomm Snapdragon X35.

Qualcomm is poised to deliver 5G capabilities to a whole new class of mobile devices with a new modem chip that bridges the gap between today's best smartphones and much lower-bandwidth devices like payment terminals and home accessories.

Announced today, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF system is the world's first to adopt NR-Light, a new 5G standard for midtier devices that don't require the power and performance of a 5G-capable smartphone or tablet — but can still take advantage of the lower latency and power consumption offered by 5G technology.
Filling the 5G void

Read more