List of SOCs & Chipsets Supporting 5G - Architecture & Launch Countries

List of SOCs & Chipsets Supporting 5G – Architecture & Launch Countries

In India, it feels like 4G was introduced just yesterday. We had to wait for quite a long time to get our hands on fully-fledged 4G LTE devices. For those who don’t know, we are all set to move to one generation up with 5G, the latest iteration in cellular technology. We are expected to get the devices supporting 5G rolled out in the market by the end of this year. 5G promises to increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless communications on a considerable scale.

A little more about 5G:

Before we jump into the various platforms supporting 5G, here is a preliminary knowledge base about the 5G standard, which will help you understand why it is one of the most anticipated platforms of modern time.

The fifth generation wireless or 5G, like previous generations, is designed to boost the speed and responsive capacity of wireless networks even further. It promises to provide data rates of up to 20 Gbps and as low as 1 ms latency, boosting up applications which require real-time response over long-range radio networks. The advanced antenna technology will make it possible to a noticeable increase in the amount of data being transmitted wirelessly, with an increase in available bandwidth.

How It Works:

5G is built on top of previous gen or 4G as a foundation. A significant difference between this two-generation is that unlike 4G, the new 5G does not require high power cell towers for transmitting data to more extended range. Instead, it uses smaller (yet in large number) cell stations, which are small enough to be placed on light poles and building roofs. These smaller cells were necessary to use as the very foundation of 5G is the millimeter wave spectrum (30 – 300 GHz) that helps in achieving high speed but at a lesser distance. This limitation will be tackled using smaller cells in large volumes.

Chipsets Supporting 5G:

Leading smartphone platform providers have already announced chipsets with support to 5G. Talking about the laptop and PC platform, Intel has announced their Intel XMM 8160 for laptops and PCs. However, we will be keeping this discussion limited to smartphone platforms only.

In this post, we will be discussing the following platforms:

  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform
  • MediaTek Helio M70 5G Baseband Chipset
  • Samsung Exynos Modem 5100 (Not a platform)

Samsung Exynos 5100 is not a platform. It’s just a network module or modem which promises 5G support. We are expecting that this modem will soon be introduced in a variety of devices in the future as 5G slowly takes over, so we will be discussing it at the end of the post as well.

So without any more delay, let us go through each of these platforms and modem to find out what amazing features and functionality they have to offer. Here we begin:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855:

The Snapdragon 855 harnesses not only multi-gigabit 4G connectivity but also provides 5G experience with advanced technologies in the mobile network industry. Here are some fantastic features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 offers:

  • Multi-gigabit: Featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem, Snapdragon 855 has become the first ever commercial 5G mobile platform. Not only it delivers transformative 5G technology but also takes advantage of multi-gigabit 5G connectivity. This is a next-gen platform with the immersive Wi-Fi performance.
  • Unleashing Power: This platform will introduce multiple architectural enhancements. It is built upon the newest 7nm process technology. Moreover, it comes with a Hexagon processor, specially designed for improving AI performance. It maintains excellent power efficiency while unleashing powerful 5G, AI and XR features.
  • 4th Gen AI: Snapdragon 855 promises improved performance in camera, voice, XR and gaming thanks to its 4th gen on device Artificial Engine technology; that promises to deliver fast and secure user experience. It boosts the AI performance by utilizing all cores, unlike its predecessors.
  • Videography: This platform is all set to achieve a new level of Videography in the smartphone industry by offering cinema grade Videography experience with bleeding edge and realistic quality. The Snapdragon 855 offers first-ever Computer Vision ISP, which helps it to achieve full HDR video capture at 4K portrait. Moreover, it is also the world’s first platform offering HDR10+ video capture.
  • NextGen Entertainment: Enjoy every frame of your videos with the fantastic 4K HDR video playback support offered by the Snapdragon 855. The platform achieves real-time XR thanks to 5G thus offering immersive interactions at a real time. This platform will also bring delight for online – multiplayer gamers with elite gaming with real-time human reflexes.

Following are some specifications and technical details you would love to have a look at:

5G:       

ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon X50 Modem
Technology5G NR
SpectrummmWave

(800 MHz bandwidth, 8 carriers, 2×2 MIMO)

sub 6 GHz

(100 MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO)

mmWave FeaturesDuel layer polarization (downlink + uplink)

Beam Forming/Steering/Tracking

AI Engine:

CPUQualcomm Kryo 485

8 Cores

64 bit

GPUQualcomm Adreno 640

OpenCL 2.0 FP, OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.1, DX12

Volumetric VR, 8K 360 VR video playback

Manufacturing Process 7 nm
DSP FeaturesHexagon 690 Processor

Hexagon Vector Accelerator

Hexagon Tensor Accelerator

Hexagon Voice Assistant

All Ways aware of technology

Cellular:

ModemQualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE
Multi-SIMDual SIM / Dual VoLTE (DSDV)
NextGen Calling ServiceVoLTE with SRVCC to 3G/2G

HD & UHD Voice

CSFB to 3G/2G

DSP FeaturesHexagon 690 Processor

Hexagon Vector Accelerator

Hexagon Tensor Accelerator

Hexagon Voice Assistant

All Ways aware of technology

TechnologyWCDMA

TD-SCDMA

CDMA 1x

EV-DO

GSM/EDGE

LTE:

CategoryLTE Category 20 (Uplink/Downlink)

LTE Category 13 (Uplink)

Downlink7x 20 MHz carrier aggregation

4×4 MIMO on 3 carriers

Up to 20 spatial streams

Up to 256 QAM

Uplink3x 20 MHz carrier aggregation

2x 106 Mbps LTE streams

Up to 256 QAM

Speed Up to 2 Gbps download

Up to 316 Mbps upload

TechnologyLTE FDD

LTE TDD

CBRS Support

LAA

LTE Broadcast

Connectivity:

Wi-Fi802.11 and/ay/ax/ac/a/b/g/n

2.4 / 5 / 6 GHz band

Up to 10 Gbps speed

BluetoothBluetooth 5.0

Up to 2 Mbps speed

LocationGPS

QZSS

GLONASS

SBAS

Beidou

Galileo

Dual frequency GNSS

NFC Support Yes
USB USB 3.1

USB C

RF5G/4G Modem to the antenna

QTM02 5G mmWave antenna module

Qualcomm envelope tracking

Camera Support:

Signal ProcessorDual 14 bit CV ISP

Qualcomm Spectra 380 processor

Megapixel48 MP on a single camera

22 MP on dual setup camera

Photo capture formatHEIF photo capture
Video capture formatHDR10+

HDR10

HLG

Video Codec SupportH.265, H.264, HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, VP8, VP9

Display/Audio:

Display ResolutionUp to 4K HDR support
HDRHDR10+

10-bit color depth

Rec 2020 color gamut

Audio TechnologyTrue Wireless

Broadcast Audio

Aquatic audio

aptX audio

Others:

ChargingQualcomm Quick Charge 4+ Technology
Memory2133 MHz memory speed

4x 16 bit LPDDR4x

MediaTek Helio M70 5G:

The Helio M70 5G is not yet to be commercialized by MediaTek fully yet, so there are not many technical details available out there. However, we will be trying to cover whatever information is available about this brand new 5G platform by MediaTek.

MediaTek promises that Helio M70 will achieve faster connectivity along with lower latency to deliver superior and high-speed network experience in the upcoming era of 5th generation wireless spectrums. For performing all this, the platform utilizes key 5G technologies, which also includes standalone and non-standalone architectures. Being one of the first chipsets offering 5G multimode integration, the Helio M70 established MediaTek as a leader in the 5th gen wireless or 5G era. This platform is expected to provide new momentum to the 5G device market, which is already hyped.

Leading “Multimode” Chipset:

Yes, the Helio M70 is a multimode chipset. In other words, not only it supports the latest 5G wireless connectivity, but it’s also backward compatible with 2G, 3G, and 4G. As mentioned above, it offers many key 5G technologies including standalone and non-standalone architectures, 5G radio, sub 6 GHz frequency band, high power user equipment and much more. Its built on top of 3GPP Rel-15 specifications that offers 5 Gbps data rate. It will be leading the industry towards carrier aggregation support. The platform supports dual 5G connectivity and LTE. With an impressive multimode solution, the Helio M70 platform delivers comprehensive power management while keeping the design of the devices as simple as possible. This allows manufacturers to produce devices while keeping the form factor compact and maintain appearance and efficiency at the same time.

Bondings with 5G operators:

MediaTek has been getting into partnerships with China Mobile for 5G development. They are supporting 5G standards development and testing and ultimately building an industry ecosystem around it. MediaTek believes this will help operators around the globe to achieve their goals regarding rolling out the 5G networks in upcoming years. According to the general manager of the MediaTek wireless communication division, the company is dedicated to promoting the adaption of the latest technologies. The commercialization of one of the first 5G chipset will help its consumers to enjoy 5G wireless with a complete solution. 5G and AI applications will be growing to the next level in upcoming years, enhancing the way we use our smartphones.

Steps towards the 5G industry ecosystem:

MediaTek has been actively collaborating with global industry leaders in smartphones. These include China Mobile, Huawei, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO and many others. Their goal is to promote productive development of 5th gen wireless that is beneficial for both partners and their customers. The launch of Helio H70 will mark the entrance of many innovative 5G solutions in the industry. MediaTek is a member of the 5G device fore-runner initiative, according to which their answers will help to empower 5G industry partners to leap the development of 5G technology and gadgets. Their platform combines NeuroPilot AI with an open architecture to deliver connectivity across various platforms and deliver diverse product line.

Samsung Exynos 5100:

As mentioned above, this one is not a chipset but a standalone modem, which is expected to be utilized by other platforms sooner or later, thus, you will.

Moreover, we would want to discuss it too. Following are some quick facts and figures about this modem by Samsung:

5G 5G NR

Sub 6 GHz

mmWave

Supported ModesLTE FDD

LTE TDD

HSPA

TD-SCDMA

WCDMA

CDMA

GSM / EDGE

Downlink8 CA carrier aggregation (5G NR / LTE)

4×4 MIMO

FD MIMO

256 QAM – sub 6 GHz

64 QM – mmWave

Uplink2 CA carrier aggregation (5G NR / LTE)

256 QAM – sub 6 GHz

64 QAM – mmWave

Process10 nm FinFET manufacturing process

The Exynos 5100 Modem by Samsung is known for its legacy mode to 5G and vice-versa.

Moreover, it comes with support to almost every wireless generation, starting from 2G. It supports dual 5G spectrum bands, allowing it to deliver impressive and reliable data connection. This is definitely what 5G is all about, speed and reliability. This modem promises to provide amazingly good user experience with various 5G technologies including MBA, MTC, and LLC. With all these features, it is capable of handling 2 Gbps to 6 Gbps network flow. Compared to its predecessors, this is almost five times faster.

Conclusion:

We hope this post helps you to understand what 5G technology is all about and also various platform and models we discussed in this post. 5G is soon going to take over the mobile industry in multiple regions. Enthusiasts are looking forward to what’s coming up in the smartphone industry. With modified architecture and structure, 5G promises to change the way we use our smartphones and overall network consumption, and we are looking forward to it.

For now, if there is any doubt, questions or suggestions popping on your mind, please feel free to post if right in the comment box or contact us directly. We will keep you posted with upcoming news from smartphone industry and tech so make sure you subscribe to Face of IT. See you until next post, Thank You!

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