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Qualcomm has unveiled its new 5G Snapdragon X70 modem, which is likely to be the last Qualcomm modem to be used by Apple in its iPhones before it switches to in-house custom-designed chips.

qualcomm-snapdragon-x70.jpg

Qualcomm says its latest 5G modem for smartphones includes "the world's first 5G AI processor integrated in a 5G Modem-RF System," which is supposed to increase the average download and uplink speeds on mmWave and sub-6GHz bands. From the company's press release:
Snapdragon X70 inherits the unrivaled 10 Gigabit 5G peak download speed of its predecessor and packs in new, advanced capabilities such as Qualcomm 5G AI Suite, Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite and 4X carrier aggregation to achieve unmatched 5G speeds, coverage, signal quality and low latency. The Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite in Snapdragon X70 allows OEMs and operators to minimize latency for hyper-responsive 5G user experiences and applications.

"Our 5th generation modem-RF system extends our global 5G leadership and the introduction of native 5G AI processing creates a platform and inflection point for performance-enhancing innovations," said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, Mobile Broadband and Infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon X70 is an example of how we're realizing the full potential of 5G and making an intelligently connected world possible."
According to the company, the Snapdragon X70 can reach up to 10Gbps downlink speed and a peak 3.5Gbps upload speed, and yet it is up to 60% more power efficient, due to its 5G PowerSave Gen 3 technology. The modem also includes support for global 5G multi-SIM and Dual-SIM Dual Active.

The Snapdragon X70 modem is expected to launch in 5G devices by the end of this year, although that doesn't necessarily mean it will appear in the iPhone 14, or indeed any future iPhone.

In a 2020 agreement to dismiss a long-running legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, a settlement filing revealed that Apple has committed to using X65 and X70 modems in products launched between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2024, which would seem to suggest the X65 will be used in the iPhone 14, while the just-announced X70 modem will be in Apple's 2023 iPhone series.

However, other reports have suggested Apple will have its own custom-designed 5G modem ready for use in 2023 iPhone models, so it's not entirely clear where the X70 fits in. Apple could end up using its own chips in most regions, and rely on Qualcomm for X70 chips in certain areas (or certain models), which could explain why Qualcomm says it is expecting to supply just 20% of Apple's iPhone modems in 2023. When Apple's agreement with Qualcomm ends, Apple will switch to its own custom-designed cellular modem for all future devices.

Rumors in early 2019 suggested that Apple was planning to design a modem in-house, and in mid-2019, Apple purchased the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business to accelerate its own development efforts. Apple took over Intel's modem-related intellectual property and hired 2,200 Intel employees, and it has already lined up its main chip manufacturing partner TSMC to begin producing the majority of its new in-house modem chips.

Article Link: Qualcomm Unveils 5G Snapdragon X70 Modem That May Appear in 2023 iPhones
 

Yuck9

macrumors member
Dec 9, 2014
80
34
California
Why would a 5G chip need AI?
Qualcomm says its latest 5G modem for smartphones includes "the world's first 5G AI processor integrated in a 5G Modem-RF System," which is supposed to increase the average download and uplink speeds on mmWave and sub-6GHz bands. From the company's press release.
 
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opeter

macrumors 68020
Aug 5, 2007
2,409
1,185
Slovenia, EU
5G is a MAJOR letdown in Suburban and Rural areas :/
Even in the Cities it struggles in certain spots. It's EXTREMELY limited. 5G in many ways is a step backwards from LTE.
You are right, that is why I wait for 6G. At least they promise many fixes.

 
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diamond.g

Contributor
Mar 20, 2007
8,908
1,391
Virginia
I wonder if they will alter the preformance of the modems so they will match their in house unit (assumes they are going to sell models with both at the same time, like they used to).
 
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211

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2020
164
340
51.531011,-0.023979
I feel that it's the cellular companies that are the problem, not the technology in phones. They all say how fast they are and I'm sure it's true, but all of it is useless with a bad cellular data infrastructure. The cellular bars sometimes go down to 1 which surely shouldn't be the case in this day and age in a city like London. Also, there are times my phone insists I have 4G/5G connection but I cannot use it. I suspect it's because it's a very weak connection, so again it's a problem with the cellular companies rather than the phone.

The problem isn't the speed, it's the coverage.
 
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Jim Lahey

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2014
1,709
3,208
I still don’t see any need for this sort of thing unless you spend all day on Speedtest.net. To be fair I get that other people will use their phone differently than myself, but are these insane speeds really worth the abominated, battleship grey eyesores that are being erected on every other street corner in every other town and city? Personally I don’t think so, but others will disagree.
 
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justperry

macrumors G5
Aug 10, 2007
12,333
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I'm a rolling stone.
I still don’t see any need for this sort of thing unless you spend all day on Speedtest.net. To be fair I get that other people will use their phone differently than myself, but are these insane speeds really worth the abominated battleship grey eye sores that are being erected on every other street corner in every other town and city? Personally I don’t think so, but others will disagree.
^This

On a computer...yes, faster and faster downloads/uploads on a phone not so much.

------

It's 60% faster due to AI, I expect more of a smaller node, bet this one is build on a smalle node than the former one, smaller nodes means faster.
 

opeter

macrumors 68020
Aug 5, 2007
2,409
1,185
Slovenia, EU
I still don’t see any need for this sort of thing unless you spend all day on Speedtest.net. To be fair I get that other people will use their phone differently than myself, but are these insane speeds really worth the abominated battleship grey eye sores that are being erected on every other street corner in every other town and city? Personally I don’t think so, but others will disagree.
I don't have problem with the speed, but with the connection and stability.

Can you imagine the following: here, where I live (rural), many times I simply cannot connect to the internet and sometimes even simple calls dont work (disconnections, robotlike voices, etc.)? The phone many times switches to E status or in the worst case: "network not available".

And I tried to switch three cellular providers, tried 5 (!) phones (two iOS, three Androids)... all say, they know about the problem, but that's all.
 

tridley68

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2014
1,356
1,668
This is great news but I would like to see Apple make their own honestly you would think they have employees with the brains to do this.
 

wood1208

macrumors 6502
Aug 30, 2015
297
183
When Apple bought Intel's cellular modem business, Apple's eye was not only on building in-house 5G capability/chip but what comes after which is 6G. Apple will have it's phones use home grown 5G and later 6G chips.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,924
5,314
That's really nice of Qualcomm to make a chip that can deliver 10Gbps speeds. AT&T and TMobile struggle to get me 100Mbps 5G data speed. And that's with full bars on my iPhone 13 Pro Max.
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2012
2,765
3,091
5G is a MAJOR letdown in Suburban and Rural areas :/
Even in the Cities it struggles in certain spots. It's EXTREMELY limited. 5G in many ways is a step backwards from LTE.
Unfortunately it's always the case with new networking generations in less populated areas. I remember when LTE was first rolled out it took years to get anything remotely close to blanket coverage without needing to fall back to 3G.
 
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jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
5,724
16,072
Temecula, CA
nice specs, will really help my download speeds on my 13ProMax at home with Verizon: < 1Mbps ... and I am not in a rural area ...
And Apple's own 5G might debut in 1 iPhone model in 2023 but not in all, my guess is MBP/iPad first as a pipe cleaner in 2023 and iPhone starting in 2024
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2012
2,765
3,091
Apple has owned Intel for 3 years and .......... crickets?
I think you are hugely underestimating how much time it takes to not only to develop something better but to also integrate it as part of their chips. Given that Apple spent $4 billion+ to get a 6 year licensing agreement with Qualcomm they would also probably want to get their money's worth. I'm guessing we won't be seeing much for at least another year or two.
 
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