Chipset giant Qualcomm has announced a new “breakthrough” regarding the future of telecommunication, connectivity, and future of the smartphone. As part of the announcement, the company unveiled “a new family of mmWave antenna modules” which includes what the company claims to be “world’s first fully-integrated 5G NR millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz RF modules”. To make it easier, the company is calling it as the Qualcomm QTM052 mmWave antenna module along with the Qualcomm QPM56xx RF module. If you don’t understand any of this then it’s alright as we are here to break it down for you. By now it is evident that this announcement related to the upcoming, and much-speculated 5G of telecommunication.
What is 5G?
With each new generation, the capabilities of what the cellular network along with smartphones and other telecommunication devices can do, increases. In addition to the increase of capabilities, the new communication technology means newer hardware to support it and that would really mean new modems and other connectivity infrastructure. Now coming back to 5G technology, it is worth knowing that 5G includes such a wide range of technologies and not all of 5G is same because this includes a host of IoT devices meant both for customers as well as the enterprise.
mmWave and its challenges
Even though the speeds that users will get on 5G will be much faster when compared to the solutions that exist right now but as reported by The Verge, the “truly impressive” speeds can be achieved with the help of the mmWave network. However, this network has its own weakness where it works by transmitting at a much shorter range making it easier for the transmissions to be blocked by walls or even the hands of the users while holding the devices.
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However, Qualcomm claims that it has fixed most of the problems related to the mmWave network with the help of QTM052 mmWave antenna modules. To clarify, the QTM052 is not a new modem as it already exists in the form of the Qualcomm X50 5G modem and instead, this is just a module that would allow the modem to connect and operate on the mmWave network.
Each QTM052 module comes with four antennas that can pinpoint the nearest 5G tower with the help of algorithms.
Where QTM052 mmWave antenna module comes?
This is significant as the company added that they have not been able to use mmWave signals in mobiles “to date” because of “technical and design challenges” and “many in the mobile industry considered” the mmWave as “highly impractical for mobile devices”.
The module can even bounce signals off its surrounding surfaces and it is small enough for smartphone makers to integrate it in future smartphones. So the antenna module will connect with X50 which is already designed to support four antenna arrays, one on each side of the smartphones.
This really means that your future smartphone may come with 16 antennas to make sure that you will get the signal without the need of holding that smartphone correctly. The company added that smartphones with this antenna module are likely to start shipping from the start of the next year.