In Barcelona, Qualcomm is targeting Wi-Fi 7 and is announcing a new evolution of its 5G modem. These two new items will be available before the end of the year.
Forget WiFi 6as well as and Snapdragon X65 instead of Wi-Fi 7 and Snapdragon X70 chip. MWC 2022 is in full swing and remains more important than ever for the mobile sector. Qualcomm is taking this opportunity to introduce new technologies that will be available from the second half of the year. The American giant does not want to waste time and leave a field for competitors such as MediaTek regarding Wi-Fi 7.
As Wi-Fi 6 slowly takes hold and Wi-Fi 6e seeks to establish itself, version 7 of the wireless standard is almost ready. Qualcomm announces FastConnect 7800, the first Wi-Fi 7 (or IEEE 802.11be) solution to be available in the second half of 2022. It promises a performance boost with a maximum speed of 5.8 Gbps (theoretical); as well as near-zero latency, less than 2ms. A promising solution that will use the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz frequency bands. Wi-Fi 7 is also capable of combining four streams in the 5GHz and 6GHz bands thanks to High Band Simultaneous (HBS) technology. Thus, it is possible to use 320 MHz channels in the 6 GHz band or 240 MHz in the 5 GHz band.
Qualcomm bets on Wi-Fi 7 even before certification
As for the 2.4GHz band, Qualcomm explains that it’s reserved for Bluetooth and low-bandwidth Wi-Fi. The FastConnect 7800 solution can also rely on 4-stream (2×2 + 2×2) dual-band simulcast (DBS), extended to higher frequency bands with the advent of Wi-Fi 6e. Specifically, a device connecting to a Wi-Fi 6 or 6e hotspot (in 2×2 mode), such as a router, may establish a different connection (in 2×2 mode on the 5 and 6 GHz bands) to another device, such as a mixed headset reality. This approach should improve performance by increasing throughput and reducing latency.
In addition to speed and latency, Wi-Fi 7 promises to be less energy intensive. According to Qualcomm, consumption is reduced by 30-50% depending on usage. Compatible with Bluetooth 5.3, FastConnect 7800 will be available from the second half of 2022. A very close release when Wi-Fi 7 doesn’t exist yet and its predecessors aren’t needed yet. In France, Wi-Fi 6 has been in development since 2020, while Wi-Fi 6e is delayed. Expected in the spring of 2021, the standard was not officially approved in France until December last year.
Wi-Fi 7, which currently lives up to the 802.11be name, will likely have to wait until early 2024 before being certified. Not to be outdone, Qualcomm or MediaTek are already positioning themselves.
Snapdragon X70: 5G chip… iPhone 15?
5G is experiencing explosive growth around the world. Most new smartphones are now compatible, and Qualcomm is now finalizing its solution. A little more than two years after the release of the first 5G modem, the chipmaker is already releasing the fifth generation Snapdragon X70. The successor to the Snapdragon X65, the modem intends to rely on artificial intelligence to help 5G take a new step.
AI for More Efficient 5G
If Qualcomm regularly claims performance improvements, this new chip relies primarily on efficiency. Like the X65, the Snapdragon X70 still offers speeds of up to 10 Gb/s versus 7.5 Gb/s for the X55 or X60. When downloading, we expect speeds up to 3.5 Gbps. Novelty is to be found on the side of the nervous motor; an AI processor that will work to improve performance in 5G. Its presence optimizes connections for faster speeds, lower latency, and greater energy efficiency.
The aim is to address some of the shortcomings of 5G with solutions such as AI Suite or 5G PowerSave technology from 3as well as Generation Qualcomm. According to the American foundry, this will improve energy efficiency by up to 60%. An interesting promise that could help the autonomy of our future smartphones. The modem supports all 5G frequency bands from 600 to 41 GHz.
Qualcomm will provide the first Snapdragon X70 samples in the second half of 2022. The first smartphones equipped with this modem will see the light before the end of the year. The iPhone 15 could benefit from this chip, unless the Apple brand finally integrates its own chip. As for the iPhone 14, it should be equipped with the Snapdragon X65 that we introduced you to last year.