Qualcomm’s New Chip and How it Shows 5G is More Than Just Cellular

15-03-2021 |   |  By Robin Mitchell

Recently, Qualcomm announced its X65 mobile SoC release, which aims to target more than just smartphones. How can 5G be advantageous for more than just cellular communication, what specifications does the new X65 chip have, and how can it be used for modern 5G applications?

Why is internet access often complex?

The introduction of the Internet is arguably the greatest technological revolution to have ever happened in human history. With its development, people could communicate across the world with virtually no limitations, enable anyone to share any data, and helped forge many billion-dollar companies, including Google, Twitter, and Facebook.

Initially, only large systems such as desktop PCs had access to the Internet due to the overheads required and the hardware needed to interface with phone lines. However, the introduction of wireless communications has helped to integrate internet capabilities into even the simplest of devices, and the result was the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The next major hurdle that engineers frequently find themselves in is the disjointed nature of internet access points. An access point is a gateway that allows a device to connect to the internet and examples of access points include routers, cell towers, and Wi-Fi. 

Since most Wi-Fi networks are private, and Ethernet's use makes the installation of internet devices infrastructure intensive, getting internet access to a remote device is often challenging. However, cellular networks such as 4G can provide internet access. 

How 5G can be the Unified Network of the Future

The next generation of cellular telecommunications, called 5G, could be the solution to the next-generation of internet-enabled devices. Unlike its predecessors, 5G offers extremely high simultaneous device support (in the tens of thousands), low-latency, and high-speed. As such, 5G could readily handle internet requests from multiple devices in many hundreds of homes. 

The use of a cellular network for the internet also provides the major advantage that an internet-enabled device will have access to the internet from most places. Instead of relying on fixed access points, a cellular internet device can move around between different cells and still have internet access. This makes cellular internet ideal for remote and mobile locations.

It’s not just the development of 5G that makes it an ideal choice for internet-enabled devices; the development of e-sims allows for small, compact cellular devices. SIM cards are required for connecting to a network, but even a micro SIM card is still very bulky. E-SIMs are just the chip of the SIM card in an IC package that allows for the integration of a hardware SIM card onto a PCB. As such, a small 1mm x 1mm chip can provide SIM capabilities to a design and allow the device to have access to cellular networks.

Qualcomm Release X65 Mobile SoC

Recently, Qualcomm announced the release of its latest mobile modem, the X65, which provides 5G capabilities for the next generation of smartphones and other internet-enabled devices. The new device is fabricated using a 4nm process that provides any device with a 10Gbps 5G modem operating on the sub 6G spectrum and the mmWave spectrum.

The new modem also integrates multiple Qualcomm technologies, including Power Save 2.0, which allows for power-saving during operation, Smart Transmit 2.0 which utilises modem-to-antenna awareness to increase upload speeds. The worlds first AI antenna technology that improves the modems ability to operate at peak performance and power-efficiency.

However, the new modem is targeted at more than just smartphones; Qualcomm also targets industrial and commercial applications. While 5G is taking its time to be rolled out, the potential applications of 5G are quickly becoming apparent, and industrial applications quickly feel the need for a widespread internet-enabled network.

If the X65 is integrated into industrial applications connecting to a private cellular network, industrial sites can easily create internet networks that allow for hassle-free roaming between access points while simultaneously handling thousands of devices. Furthermore, using a singular wireless network allows for automated systems to traverse across industrial sites while retaining 100% connection uptime.


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By Robin Mitchell

Robin Mitchell is an electronic engineer who has been involved in electronics since the age of 13. After completing a BEng at the University of Warwick, Robin moved into the field of online content creation developing articles, news pieces, and projects aimed at professionals and makers alike. Currently, Robin runs a small electronics business, MitchElectronics, which produces educational kits and resources.

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