Qualcomm Announces 5G Chip Modules for Smartphones


Qualcomm's booth in an exhibit. / Photo by: Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr


To maximize the full speed of 5G networks, a dedicated antenna module must be installed in smartphones, but current designs are simply too big for most gadgets. As a solution, tech giant Qualcomm announced a module with a size small enough to fit in mobile devices.

The module is called the QTM052 mmWave antenna and is paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem. Together, the module and the modem work to establish and sustain the performance of the 5G network in mobile devices. The announcement of the company may help smartphone manufacturers to install 5G modules in upcoming flagship models.

“Today’s announcement of the first commercial 5G NR mmWave antenna modules and sub-6 GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile devices represents a major milestone for the mobile industry,” announced Cristiano Amon, president at Qualcomm.

As a pair, the antenna-modem components support advanced beam forming, beam steering, and beam tracking technologies that enhance the reach and reliability of millimeter waves used in the 5G network. The components can work with a bandwidth of up to 800 MHz in the 26.5 to 29.5 GHz mmWave bands. It also works with other bands including 27.5 to 28.35 GHz and 37 to 40 GHz.

Due to the design of mmWave in covering crowded indoor and dense urban areas, the company announced the release of the QPM56xx RF module family to help achieve the necessary spectrum bands. This module family is applicable in smartphones with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. So far, four modules have been developed for sounding reference signal or SRS switching for multiple-input, multiple-output apps, and support for 3.3 to 4.2 GHz, 3.3 to 3.8 GHz, and 4.4 to 5.0 GHz bands.

With the right configuration, the modules can deliver internet speeds of at least one gigabits per second on average in mobile devices connected to 5G.