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Qualcomm's new X80 modem packs AI and integrated satellite communication support

The Snapdragon X80 Modem

At Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, Qualcomm announced a new 5G modem-RF system to bring its customers faster and more energy-efficient connectivity. The X80 is the company's seventh-generation 5G modem, and it packs several new technologies to advance the standard.

Qualcomm says the X80 is the first 5G modem with an integrated AI processor based on a dedicated tensor accelerator. It helps in improving speeds (up to 10Gbps download and 3.5Gbps upload), coverage, location accuracy, spectrum efficiency, power efficiency, and latency.

In addition, the Snapdragon X80 features native NB-NTN support (narrowband non-terrestrial network), which should bring satellite communication to more devices utilizing Qualcomm's flagship chips. The new modem also boasts 6-antenna architecture, 6X carrier aggregation, and "AI-based" mmWave range extension for fixed access points.

The Snapdragon X80 modem is currently sampling, and the first commercial devices featuring Qualcomm's latest 5G modem should hit store shelves in the second half of 2024.

Besides the X80, Qualcomm announced the FastConnect 7900 platform, a 6nm chip that integrates Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, and UWB. It also features "all-new proximity awareness" capabilities for improved device discoverability, connection, and control. The chip also supports Qualcomm XPAN and Snapdragon Sound, which enable high-bitrate music streaming over Wi-Fi.

Qualcomm FastConnect 7900 features

Like the X80, the 7900 platform uses AI to "adapt to specific use cases and environments," resulting in lower network latency, better throughput, and other "meaningful optimizations."

Building on the legacy of our first-gen Wi-Fi 7 offering found in millions of devices today, FastConnect 7900 creates a new way to connect. The system brings next-level capabilities across AI, proximity, and multi-device experiences into the devices we love most.

Qualcomm expects the FastConnect 7900 platform to appear in the first commercial devices somewhere in the second half of 2024. You can learn more about the Snapdragon X80 here, and the FastConnect 7900 here.

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