Qualcomm's X60 5G modem could be used in 2021 iPhone models

Posted:
in General Discussion
Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon X60 5G Modem, a third-generation system for 5G connectivity in smartphones, but one that Apple is more likely to be using for its 2021 iPhone releases rather than 2020's "iPhone 12" models.

Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem
Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem


The newest 5G modem from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon X60 is the first 5-nanometer baseband chip. Following on from the 7-nanometer X55 it launched in February 2019, the X60 is capable of providing up to 7.5 gigabits per second of download speed, and up to 3 gigabits for uploads.

The reduction from 7-nanometer to 5-nanometer is believed to help reduce the size of the overall package for device producers, allowing it to occupy less space within a smartphone, as well as being more energy efficient. This enables vendors to use up that freed space to add more resource capacity, to add new features, or simply to make the device lighter or smaller.

It is also claimed by Qualcomm to be the first 5G modem-RF system in the world to support spectrum aggregation across all key 5G bands and combinations. For 5G in particular, this means it will be capable of using both the sub-6GHz bandwidth as well as mmWave simultaneously.

Earlier 5G chips were capable of communications with either sub-6GHz connections or mmWave, but not at the same time. By connecting to both, there is less chance of users enduring a loss of signal from the more interference-sensitive mmWave, as well as allowing for more data throughput overall.

The X60 also includes support for Voice over NR (VoNR), which is used for making calls over 5G connections instead of switching back to 3G or 4G technologies.

Qualcomm claims the first samples of the Snapdragon X60 and the accompanying QTM535 mmWave antenna module will be provided to device manufacturers in the first quarter of 2020, with the first commercial smartphones using the modems anticipated for early 2021.

Due to Apple's usual lead times for designing iPhones and the size of its supply chain, it is highly unlikely that the X60 will be used in the "iPhone 12." Following Apple's 5G deal with Qualcomm in 2019 to use its modems, it is highly probable that a Qualcomm 5G modem will be used in the upcoming models possibly the X55, though there is some suggestion that Apple will be using its own antenna designs instead of relying on what Qualcomm provides.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    Noooooooo.........
    harry wildols
  • Reply 2 of 12
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,041member
    I’ll happily sit out the 2020 iPhone, I’m totally satisfied with the iPhone 11 Pro for now. Still discovering new camera capabilities several months on. 

    When this (apparently) mature 5G implementation is ready for iPhone, I’ll be ready to buy in 2021.

    Nice when things work out like that.
    harry wildMplsP
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Beats said:
    Noooooooo.........
    No what?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    That's an interesting remix of state of the art and cutting edge.  EDM version?  :D

    Another way to look at it is Apple is taking a more cautious approach by letting cutting edge tech cut other vendors until it matures into something stable, dependable, predictable.  Take OLED for instance.  Samsung worked through the growing pains of multiple iterations of OLED panels until they produced a panel that had more of the advantages of OLED and a whole lot less of it's disadvantages.  It would have made no sense for Apple to use OLED before then imo.

    5G?  There's no advantage of having 5G right now beyond bragging rights for the OEMs.  Customers probably won't see appreciable 5G benefits for another couple of years once the network is built out properly.  
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    What the hell are you talking about? Qualcomm’s new X60 chip won’t be ready until next year. How can Apple possibly build iPhones this summer with a chip that won’t even be released for another 6 to 9 months?

    The iPhone 12 models will have Qualcomm’s state of the art X55 modem. There’s nothing better available. 
    edited February 2020 jony0
  • Reply 7 of 12
    swat671 said:
    Beats said:
    Noooooooo.........
    No what?
    Apparently upset that the 2021 iPhones will be better than the 2020 models. Someone needs to break it to him how technology progresses. 
    jony0
  • Reply 8 of 12
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    swat671 said:
    Beats said:
    Noooooooo.........
    No what?
    To Qualcomm chips in 2021.


    swat671 said:
    Beats said:
    Noooooooo.........
    No what?
    Apparently upset that the 2021 iPhones will be better than the 2020 models. Someone needs to break it to him how technology progresses. 
    No.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,566member
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    That's an interesting remix of state of the art and cutting edge.  EDM version?  :D

    Another way to look at it is Apple is taking a more cautious approach by letting cutting edge tech cut other vendors until it matures into something stable, dependable, predictable.  Take OLED for instance.  Samsung worked through the growing pains of multiple iterations of OLED panels until they produced a panel that had more of the advantages of OLED and a whole lot less of it's disadvantages.  It would have made no sense for Apple to use OLED before then imo.

    5G?  There's no advantage of having 5G right now beyond bragging rights for the OEMs.  Customers probably won't see appreciable 5G benefits for another couple of years once the network is built out properly.  
    The carriers In Australia are all pushing 5G with the ads that can't even pull a decent narrative together to sell the product.
    The only sales pitch seems to be it's the next thing you should want it for.... shrugs.

    4G didn't need ads we all knew our devices wanted more.
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    Nonsense, of course. Apple puts in cutting edge SoCs, while competitors routinely put in old (Qualcomm!) technology. I'd rather have a new SoC and an older radio chip. Do not care.
    MplsP
  • Reply 11 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,740member
    Same old Apple, putting in old technology into it latest iPhones and then pushing it as state of the edge cutting technology!  Nothing new here!
    Nonsense, of course. Apple puts in cutting edge SoCs, while competitors routinely put in old (Qualcomm!) technology. I'd rather have a new SoC and an older radio chip. Do not care.
    That doesn't make sense.

    Are you implying competitors sit on new QC hardware and wait for it to age before releasing it?

    Competitors AND Apple use both cutting edge AND old hardware. It all depends on the target market and price bands.

    Wouldn't you prefer cutting edge hardware AND cutting edge radios? Of course you would! For the price of a top end flagship you want the best on offer.

    The problem is that Apple's release cycle doesn't match Qualcomm's so Apple will probably see the X60 arriving on iPhones long after it lands on Android phones.

    There are solutions for that situation and they depend on Apple but it  probably won't look to correct the situation.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,034member
    As expected, 5G modem technology is improving year over year and any 5G tech that may be present in this year's iPhone will use more power and have fewer features. Exactly why Apple is smart to wait and not put the earliest chips in its phones.
    Bart Y
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