Qualcomm unveils 'world’s first' 2Gps LTE modem, the Snapdragon X24

Qualcom building

Chip giant Qualcomm has started sampling what it's calling "the world's first" 2Gps LTE modem, the Snapdragon X24.

The Category 20 LTE modem supports up to 2 gigabits per second (Gbps) download speeds and is also said to be the first chip built on a 7nm FinFET process.

As the company's eighth generation LTE multimode modem and third generation Gigabit LTE product, Qualcomm claims it features "the most advanced cellular features of any commercially available 4G LTE modem to date", bolstering the LTE foundation for future 5G devices and networks.

"The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, designed to provide enhanced mobile broadband and deliver an extremely important gigabit coverage layer for commercial 5G networks and mobile devices that are expected to start launching in 2019," said Qualcomm's SVP and GM of 4G/5G and industrial IOT, Serge Willenegger.

"[The] X24 packs a powerful array of the most advanced 4G LTE technologies commercially available, helping mobile operators to fully mobilise their spectrum assets and maximise the capacity of their Gigabit LTE networks, and mobile device makers to offer consumers a tangible glimpse of our 5G future," he added.

The X24 also supports up to seven times carrier aggregation in the downlink, as well as 4x4 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO themethod for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennae)on up to five aggregated LTE carriers, both of which are said to be industry firsts, for a total of up to 20 concurrent spatial LTE streams.This, Qualcomm said, is designed to allow devices that feature its new modem to make use of all spectrum assets available from a mobile operator.

However, as impressive as these record-breaking mobile internet speeds are, mobile operators are nowhere near being able to offer 2Gbps download speeds. The most advanced networks only offer three aggregated LTE carriers at the moment, so it would probably be a while before they can even get close to such super-fast mobile broadband speeds.

Nevertheless, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem will be featured in a live demonstration at Mobile World Congress Barcelona in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra and NETGEAR.