Almost one year ago, Qualcomm unveiled its third-gen 5G Modem-RF System, the Snapdragon X60. One of its major features included mmWave-sub6 aggregation, which would allow a maximum throughput of 5.5Gbps. Then in May, Samsung also announced Link Cell, an integrated 5G mmWave small cell for indoor use. Today, MediaTek has announced that it is joining the 5G mmWave race as well.
MediaTek's M80 is a 5G modem that supports mmWave, an advancement from the first generation M70 5G modem for smartphones. Support for mmWave is important in the everchanging technology landscape because 5G is a combination of mmWave - which are high-frequency bands that are super-fast, but can be obstructed by the tiniest thing - and sub6, lower-frequency bands that can penetrate buildings, but aren't as fast. Aggregation of these two segments of 5G on a single chip should allow them to work more seamlessly together, providing optimal speeds.
The M80 features support for both standalone and non-standalone architectures and boasts peak rates of 7.67Gbps and 3.76Gbps for downlink and uplink respectively. JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit, had the following to say about the advancement:
As 5G rollouts accelerate, mmWave is becoming increasingly important, especially in the U.S. MediaTek’s new 5G modem integrates support for both sub-6 GHz and mmWave networks to address this opportunity and give device makers more flexibility. To advance users’ 5G experiences, the new modem supports the latest global cellular standards and specifications and it packs MediaTek’s signature power savings technologies along with ultra-fast speeds.
MediaTek has also touted better power management and efficiency thanks to the company's proprietary technologies, saying that the modem also meets major industry standards. The M80 should be available for customers to try out later this year.