Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon X20 modem, promising 1.2Gbps LTE

Just over a year ago, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon X16, the first cellular modem that will provide gigabit LTE speeds. We're finally going to see it in products at Mobile World Congress this year, as it is to be bundled with the firm's new flagship Snapdragon 835 chipset.

But as Qualcomm said in today's press release, "we are not resting on our laurels." The company today introduced the Snapdragon X20, which will provide Category 18 download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. The upload speeds will be the same as the X16, which is Category 13, or 150Mbps.

The new modem also supports "more combinations of LTE carriers, 4x4 MIMO configurations, and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams." Carrier aggregation is now 5x20MHz, whereas the previous generation was 4x20MHz.

Built on a 10nm FinFET process, the X20 keeps Qualcomm one step ahead of Intel, which announced its first gigabit LTE modem today. Built on a 14nm process, the XMM 7560 will offer 1Gbps download speeds and 225Mbps upload speeds, but it will be available later this year.

Qualcomm didn't provide a timeline for when we'll actually see the Snapdragon X20 in new devices, but if the timeframe is similar to what it was for the X16, we'll begin seeing the new modem in the company's next flagship chipset around this time next year.

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