On the first day of the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm announced three new 5G mobile platforms – detailed announcements are scheduled for Day Two. The Snapdragon 865 is the new SoC spearhead, followed by the Snapdragon 765 and its Snapdragon 765G gaming variant.
The Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform – short Snapdragon 865 – is the new flagship from Qualcomm and inherits the Snapdragon 855, which was also presented at the Snapdragon Tech Summit a year ago. According to Qualcomm, the first smartphones with the new system come on-a-chip on the market. At CES in January, the first, at the MWC at the end of February, most of the corresponding announcements by the smartphone manufacturers are likely to be made. Somewhere in between is also to be expected with Samsung's idea of the Galaxy S11, which is expected in the US with the latest Qualcomm instead Exynos chip.
Qualcomm couples Snapdragon 865 to Snapdragon X55
What the Snapdragon 865 has to offer in detail, Qualcomm could not elicit today. The company always uses the first day of the Snapdragon Tech Summit only for a rough view of the upcoming days' timetable. It is known, however, that the Snapdragon 865 comes with the Snapdragon X55 modem RF system. This is Qualcomm's single-chip solution of 5G, LTE, 3G and 2G modems, covering all known sub-standards. In the 5G range, these include mmWave and the sub 6 GHz spectrum, TDD and FDD as well as non-standalone (NSA) and standalone operation (SA). Currently, 5G is offered as a pure additional data channel and thus as NSA, SA will follow later.
Includes! = Integrated
Interesting in the still rudimentary announcement of the Snapdragon 865 is Qualcomm's very specific wording: “The flagship Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, which includes the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem RF System, is the world's most advanced 5G platform, delivering unmatched connectivity and performance for the next generation of flagship devices.“The focus must be on the word” includes “, which does not mean” integrated “, otherwise Qualcomm would have called the child” integrated “by name.
Six years after the Snapdragon 805, the Snapdragon 865 is again a Qualcomm AP (Application Processor) and no MSM (Mobile Station Modem) with integrated modem. All mobile is handled by the additional Snapdragon X55 chip. This is a departure from last year, when the Snapdragon 855 still came with integrated LTE modem and outsourced only the 5G Snapdragon X50 modem. So Qualcomm goes the same way as Samsung in the Exynos 990, the AP and modem also divided into two chips. The same thing Apple has been doing for years and will likely continue next year with the launch of the first 5G iPhone. SoC vendors with integrated 5G modem are HiSilicon with the Kirin 990 and Samsung with the Exynos 980 – there, however, for the upper middle class and not the high-end segment. In addition, MediaTek is working on the Dimensity 1000 for the coming year – but without mmWave.
Qualcomm, Samsung, HiSilicon and MediaTek
As can be seen from the table, there is also the end of 2019 not the egg-laying Wollmilchsau as a smartphone SoC. If it is a high-end chip that covers all mobile standards, as in Qualcomm and Samsung, the modem remains an external second chip. Once the modem is integrated as with HiSilicon and MediaTek, mmWave is missing. With a focus on the Chinese market, however, the abandonment of mmWave at HiSilicon and MediaTek can be overcome. Qualcomm and Samsung, with a focus on Europe and the US, need to cover mmWave.
Snapdragon 765 (G) has integrated 5G modem
The Snapdragon 765 and its Snapdragon 765G offshoot, with more gaming features, is actually Qualcomm's first SoC with built-in 5G multi-mode modem. This illustrates Qualcomm's other choice of words: “The Snapdragon 765 / 765G brings integrated 5G connectivity, advanced AI processing, and select Snapdragon Elite Gaming experiences.“ComputerBase is already known with which modem this chip works, but is still under embargo until the second keynote. On the second day of the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm intends to disclose all the technical details of the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 (G).
ComputerBase has received information about this article from Qualcomm in advance and as part of a manufacturer's event on Maui under NDA. The costs for arrival, departure and hotel were borne by Qualcomm. There was no influence of the manufacturer or a reporting obligation.