5G has to be the buzzword of 2019. It is basically everywhere. With telecom operators and phone makers trying to push the envelope on 5G connectivity, Qualcomm is now looking to democratize 5G support. The chipmaker took center stage at IFA 2019 to announce that it will debut mid-range chipsets with 5G support in the Snapdragon 600- and 700-series next year.
Qualcomm has been leading the charge on the 5G front with its flagship Snapdragon 855 chipset, with the Snapdragon X50 modem in tow. But these smartphones are priced quite exorbitantly (Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G starts at $1300) and well, the chipmaker now wants to push 5G to more affordable budget/ mid-range phones from the likes of Redmi, Realme, Nokia, and others.
Talking about its rationale behind this announcement, Alex Katouzian, senior VP and GM – Mobile, Qualcomm Technologies in the official blog post says, “We are uniquely positioned to accelerate 5G commercialization to scale globally with our OEM and operator customers with expanded mobile platform offerings across our Snapdragon 8 Series, 7 Series and 6 Series in 2020.”
There are a few things that we know about these upcoming chipsets, which will bring 5G connectivity to sub-Rs 30,000 and possibly even sub-Rs 20,000 price brackets next year (by second half of 2020, which is when the 5G-compatible Snapdragon 600 series chip is going to be rolled out). The new Snapdragon 700-series chipset will be built on the 7nm process, integrating 5G modem onto the chip itself.
Qualcomm further adds that its upcoming 5G-compatible chipsets are designed to support all key regions and frequency bands including “mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum, TDD and FDD modes, 5G multi-SIM, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, and Standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures.” This announcement comes just days after Samsung’s first 5G-integrated Exynos 980 chipset, which was unveiled at IFA earlier this week.
Qualcomm hasn’t doled any information on both of its future Snapdragon 600 and 700-series chipsets, but says that its OEM partners have been sampling the mobile platform since Q2 2019. Twelve leading global OEMs and brands including OPPO, Realme, Redmi, Vivo, Motorola, HMD Global, and LG Electronics will be some of their first few partners to integrate the “integrated Snapdragon 7 Series 5G Mobile Platform” in their smartphones coming next year.