Thanks to the continued developments in the realm of mobile technology, 4G smartphones have become commonplace today, with even entry-level mobile devices supporting blazing-fast cellular data speeds and advanced wireless capabilities. But even though 4G technology is far from being mainstream, work has already begun on its successor – 5G. In fact, semiconductor major Qualcomm is already working to bring 5G capabilities to smartphones as early as next year.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line-up of SoCs power millions of Android smartphones around the world, ranging from entry-level devices like Xiaomi Redmi 5A to top-of-the-line flagship phablets such as Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Now, the company has announced its upcoming SoC (system-on-chip) will have 5G support, thanks to the embedded Snapdragon X50 5G modem. Fabricated using the highly-efficient 7nm node, the chipset will become Qualcomm’s first 5G-capable mobile platform for powering next-generation smartphones as early as 2019.
Commenting about the development, Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm Technologies, said, “We are very pleased to be working with OEMs, operators, infrastructure vendors, and standards bodies across the world, and are on track to help launch the first 5G mobile hotspots by the end of 2018, and smartphones using our next-generation mobile platform in the first half of 2019.”
He further added, “Qualcomm Technologies’ continued leadership in research and engineering allows for a future of increased innovation across multiple sectors as 5G connectivity becomes ubiquitous.”
Watch: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Look
Recent rumours have claimed that Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 855 mobile platform will have a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for handling AI-based processing. Until now, this is done by the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chips.