As it did previously with microprocessors, Qualcomm is expanding its lineup of 5G modems to target specific markets beyond smartphones.
Its moves in the PC market are perhaps the most interesting.
“Our platforms were the first to bring gigabit, and now multi-gigabit LTE to the PC,” Qualcom senior vice president Alex Katouzian says. “We also brought multi-day battery life to the PC, and with the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform, we innovate once again to bring the best of our computing and connectivity technologies into a single platform to modernize the enterprise.”
Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8cx last fall, and it expects to see partner PCs based on the chipset in the market by the second half of 2019. This week’s announcement about the platform’s 5G capabilities is new, however: PCs based on the Snapdragon 8cx will be able to take advantage of the newly-announced Snapdragon X55 5G modem, which promises download speeds of up to 7 Gbps.
Those PCs will also take advantage of the other inherent advantages of Qualcomm’s compute platform, which delivers over 20 hours of battery life, weeks of standby, and quiet, fanless operation. Qualcomm expects to see PCs based on this design in the market in the second half of 2019 as well.
Beyond the PC, Qualcomm also announced 5G parts for wireless home base stations, which would be sold by carriers like Verizon, and for cars. Automakers are expected to add 5G capabilities to select vehicles as soon as this coming model year, Qualcomm says.
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