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What is X16 Gigabit LTE CAT 16 Modem & Which SOC’s Supports Them?

X16 Gigabit LTE CAT 16 Modem

Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE CAT 16 Modem is the world’s first announced Gigabit Class LTE modem. It supports a peak downloads speeds of up to 10 times as fast as the first generation 4G LTE devices.

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Qualcomm added a suite of enhancements built on a foundation of commercially proven Carrier Aggregation technology. X16 modem receives data on four antennas through 4×4 MIMO. It supports up to 4x carrier aggregation. All come together to achieve download speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

X16 category modem provides speed up to 1 Gbps via 16 downlinks and up to 150 Mbps speed via 13 uplinks. It features maximum ten spatial streams. X16 category modems are found only in the flagship processors of 2017. Till date, this is the best LTE modem.

X16 Gigabit LTE CAT 16 Modem

Source: Qualcomm

X16 Gigabit LTE CAT 16 Modem Supported SOC List

1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 is the processor that powers the most of the Android flagship phones of 2017. It is built on the 10 nm FinFET fabrication process that makes it 35% small and uses 25% less power than previous designs.

Also ReadQuick Comparison with Apple A11 vs Apple A10X vs Snapdragon 835 SOC

SD835 comes with Quick Charge 4.0 support that is 25% faster and 30% better regarding efficiency as compared to the QC 3.0. The Adreno 540 GPU is 25% more potent than its predecessors. Overall, SD835 is indeed a game changer SoC. Coming to the specifications, it features X16 LTE category modem that features up to 16 downlinks and 13 uplinks for download speed up to 1 Gbps and upload speed up to 150 Mbps.

Coming to the specifications, it features X16 LTE category modem that features up to 16 downlinks and 13 uplinks for download speed up to 1 Gbps and upload speed up to 150 Mbps. Here are some of the highlighted hallmarks of the X16 LTE modem on the SD 835 SOC:

  • LTE Cat 16 downlink & LTE Cat 13 uplink speeds

Downlink Features

  • 4×20 MHz carrier-aggregation
  • Up-to 256-QAM
  • Up to 4×4 MIMO on two carriers
  • Maximum 10 ‘spatial streams’

Uplink Features

  • ‘Qualcomm® Snapdragon™’ Upload+
  • 2×20 MHz carrier-aggregation
  • Up-to 2x 75Mbps LTE streams
  • Up-to 64-QAM
  • Uplink data-compression

Peak Download and Upload Speeds

  • 1 Gbps (Peak Download Speed)
  • 150 Mbps (Peak Upload Speed)
 Supported Cellular-Technologies
  • LTE FDD, LTE-TDD, LTE-U, LAA, LTE-Broadcast

Multi-SIM Support:

  • LTE Dual SIM Dual Active (DSDA)
  • LTE Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS)

Next-gen Calling-Services

  • VoLTE with SRVCC to 3G & 2G
  • HD & Ultra HD Voice (EVS)
  • CSFB to 3G & 2G

Snapdragon 835 supports up to 8 GB of LPDDR4x dual-channel RAM. As far as camera capabilities are concerned, it supports up to 16 MP dual camera and up to 32 MP single camera. You also get the wireless charging support thanks to the Qualcomm WiPower wireless charging.

Snapdragon 835 Specs
CPU CoreSemi-custom ARM Cortex
GPU Config4x 2.45GHz Kryo 280
4x 1.9GHz Kryo 280
GPUAdreno 540
RAM2x 32-bit LPDDR4X
1866 MHz
Modem X16 LTE, 1 Gbps download,
150 Mbps Upload
FlasheMMC 5.1/ UFS 2.1
Camera support32MP single / 16MP dual
Video Playback4K UHD @ 60fps,
10-bit H.264 (AVC),
H.265 (HEVC), VP9 codecs
Video Capture4K UHD @ 30fps
Process10 nm

2. Samsung Exynos 8895

Samsung Exynos 8895 that is used in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Though it is only used in the Samsung phones, it stands neck to neck with the Snapdragon 835 SoC. Exynos 8895 features four redesigned M1 “Mongoose” V2 custom-cores, clocked at 2.3 GHz and a power efficient cluster of four Cortex-A53 units, running at 1.7 GHz.

Also Read: List of Phones with Exynos 8895 SOC

Exynos 8895 incorporates Mali-G71 GPU for graphics and animation handling. This processor is also built on the 10nm FinFET process, that enhances the performance and efficiency by a large margin from its predecessor. It features an X16 LTE category modem that gives up to 1 Gbps download speed, and up to 150 Mbps upload speed.

Exynos 8895 also features an exciting feature that is VPU (Visual Processing Unit). It is designed for cognitive services like machine learning using vision technology and native API’s. This technique improves the recognition of an item or its movements by analyzing the visual telemetry information coming through the camera feed. For security, this SoC comes with IRIS recognition and fingerprint recognition.

Samsung Exynos 8895 Specs
CPU CoreCustom + A53
CPU Config2.3GHz Quad-Core (Custom CPU) +
1.7GHz Quad-Core (Cortex-A53)
GPUMali-G71 MP20
RAM2x 32-bit LPDDR4X
1866 MHz
1 Gbps Download,
150 Mbps Upload
Camera supportRear 28MP, Front 28MP,
Dual Camera 28MP+16MP
DisplayUp to WQUXGA (3840×2400),
4K UHD (4096×2160)
Video Playback4K UHD 120fps recording and playback
with HEVC (H.265), H.264, VP9 Codec
FlasheMMC 5.1, UFS 2.1, SD 3.0
Process10 nm


Interestingly, Intel also announced the Intel XMM 7560 Modem with Cat 16 gigabit LTE support. The SOC also supports Dual-Sim and is capable of 1 Gbps downlinks and 225 Mbps Cat 13 uplinks. Qualcomm already has the X20 modem in development, and by the time it comes out, it is expected to provide us with 1.2 Gbps or beyond downlinks through carrier aggregation. I guess we will have to wait and see what’s coming up from Qualcomm and Intel, as well as others. It is just a matter of time for these technologies to mature enough for mainstream adoption.

We hope you like our article on X16 Gigabit LTE CAT 16 Modem. Suggestions or feedbacks are welcome in the comment section below.
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