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Qualcomm today announced it has upgraded its Snapdragon X65 5G modem with improved power efficiency and support for wider mmWave carriers, a key requirement ahead of the rollout of 5G mmWave networks in China.

qualcomm-snapdragon-x65.jpg

Specifically, the modem now supports wider 200MHz carrier bandwidth in the mmWave spectrum and mmWave in standalone (SA) mode, while new power-saving technologies part of Qualcomm 5G PowerSave 2.0 allow for longer battery life. These enhancements are possible because the Snapdragon X65 has software-upgradable architecture, allowing for improvements to be made to the modem over time.

First introduced in February, the Snapdragon X65 is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones, enabling theoretical data speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. Apple will likely use the Snapdragon X65 in 2022 iPhones, as part of a multiyear chipset supply agreement with Qualcomm, building on the Snapdragon X55 in the iPhone 12 lineup and likely the Snapdragon X60 in the iPhone 13 lineup.

As with the Snapdragon X60, the Snapdragon X65 can aggregate data from mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency coverage, resulting in an improved 5G experience on the iPhone.

mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas. mmWave support on iPhone 12 models is limited to the United States, but rumors suggest that iPhone 13 models may support mmWave in additional countries.

The Snapdragon X65 could be the last Qualcomm modem used in iPhones, as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have forecasted that Apple may be ready to switch to its rumored in-house 5G modem for iPhones starting in 2023.

Article Link: Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 Modem Upgraded With Wider mmWave Coverage Ahead of Inclusion in 2022 iPhones
 
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mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
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I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
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Wherever my feet take me…
the Snapdragon X65 is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones, enabling theoretical data speeds up to 10 gigabits per second.
US wireless providers have a lot of infrastructure to upgrade to even remotely get anywhere near these speeds. I wouldn't be surprised if some places get maybe 1/1000 this speed.

I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
That's a problem, too. I live in a fairly affluent neighborhood that doesn't want the "eye sore" of antennas everywhere. For sporting events/arenas, that adds another layer of issues. That many people that densely packed in one place will get lousy service.
 

nsayer

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2003
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Silicon Valley
For what it's worth, I've had a few experiences with mm5G. I passed through the Salt Lake City airport and while there did some testing with it and it was phenomenal. I can genuinely say that it was better than our gigabit home internet connection over Ethernet.

I also searched out the nearest spot from home where it's active. It's kind of an odd choice. It's centered on a local strip club, so it would seem. I didn't go in, but from across the street and a few doors down, it was definitely in the gigabit range, though not as good as it was at SLC.

As for 5G itself, I find that it's definitely better than LTE in the places where I go (south SF Bay and South Reno) - usually about twice as fast if I run a speed test.

All that said, cellular connectivity has in general become a binary thing for me. It either works just fine or it doesn't work at all. There's not really a middle ground anymore.
 

WiseAJ

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2009
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As much as I like Apple and have immense respect for what they've created regarding M-series processor chips, I'm skeptical they'll be able to produce modem chips that will outperform or equal Qualcomm's.
Everyone thought the same thing when they started making the chips for iPhones and look where we are now. I wouldn't bet against Apple.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
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Colombia
I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is.

Nailed it.

And the same can be applied to other services: water conduction, electricity, public transportation... spread out development is not the best way to go, but I live in Texas and every time I mention it I get that horrible look... People here want their big trucks and SUVs that they can barely drive parked on their front porch, and to drive miles and miles to go anywhere.
 
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jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
As much as I like Apple and have immense respect for what they've created regarding M-series processor chips, I'm skeptical they'll be able to produce modem chips that will outperform or equal Qualcomm's.
I think they can, but it will take time, and the first iteration of their own modem will not be able to do that.
I do believe that Apple will release their 1st modem in 2022/23 timeframe, but it will not go into an iPhone, unless their would be a true budget iPhone coming. I think that mainstream iPhone will get Apple modems not before 2024/25.
 

Böhme417

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2009
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It would be nice if the providers in the US would catch up on their service that makes these newer modems greatly underutilized. 5G has been no better for me than LTE. In many cases, it has been worse. mmWave seems like a novelty. Even in an open field that is supposedly blanketed in wideband, I can simply turn around to block the signal. Yeah, it’s great that I can get download speeds of 3+ Gbps, but uploads never break 100 Mbps, and latency is atrocious at over 100 ms sometimes. I don’t know how some people can claim that this is suitable for home internet. Fiber still kicks 5G’s ass.
 

anthover

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2010
156
25
As much as I like Apple and have immense respect for what they've created regarding M-series processor chips, I'm skeptical they'll be able to produce modem chips that will outperform or equal Qualcomm's.

I think everyone misunderstands. Apple Licenced Qualcomm IP and modems both for 6 years with rights to renew. The main benefit apple will have is adding the modem to its own chip set with CPU/GPU/RAM and other compute units which will produce less power drain and lower latency. Will Apple ever make something better stricly on modem tech itself perhaps, but does not matter. Apple had to licence the IP and modems and did. The intel purchase is more about expertise in modem tech and some patents as well. Technology evolves and perhaps apple can contribute or have its own IP that provides benefits for future cell standards but they will always need licenses for older/existing standards.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
agree for the most part, but it will "spread" once infrastructure prices come down significantly
 

Jetscreamer

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2021
13
12
Definitely waiting for the 14 for that X65. I’ll let Apple work out any bugs on their first gen modem before I invest in one.
 

LoggerMN

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2013
32
31
I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
It does seem like a special case solution for high density events / areas, but I have received notice of Verizon installing APs on nearby light poles in my suburban neighborhood. I wonder if this is more of a play that will let them offer fixed antenna home internet connections, which can be placed to avoid the attenuation problems. It's been a couple years and they haven't turned them on yet. I expect they want robust coverage before offering service to avoid too many failed setups. Also, If I was doing that, I'd want to wait until I knew I could do a fast roll out to many customers very quickly, to make it harder for Comcast to react.
 

bodonnell202

macrumors 68000
Jan 5, 2016
1,950
2,408
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
I think the purpose of mmWave is mostly to maximize bandwidth in areas were there is high density, including stadiums and urban centers - it's unlikely we would see it rolled out in the suburbs.
 
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