MWC 2022: Qualcomm announces “world’s first” 5G AI and Wi-Fi 7 chips

Qualcomm stand at MWC 2022 with Snapdragon logo visible
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has announced the launch of a 5G AI-integrated modem-RF as well as a Wi-Fi 7 system-on-a-chip (SoC).

Both offerings are the first of their kind globally, the American semiconductor giant said on Monday at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, which returned to the Fira for the first time since 2019.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 5G modem-RF system is equipped with an integrated artificial intelligence (AI) processor with the aim of “fuelling a new era” of intelligent 10-Gigabit 5G connectivity.

The addition of AI will bolster Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X70 5G with contextual awareness and personalisation at scale, allowing for “intelligent, intuitive, and automated actions”. This includes up to 30% improved context detection for higher average speeds and coverage enabled by AI-based adaptive antenna tuning.

The X70 5G will also be able to improve its performance through continued self-learning, allowing it to adapt to new and diverse services, spectrum, and deployments. It’s part of Qualcomm’s long-term 5G evolution plan that will enable advanced 5G use cases with AI and machine learning (ML) data-driven designs, including extended reality (XR) and 5G New Radio (NR), which is used in Internet of Things (IoT) and automotives.

Qualcomm also revealed the “world’s first” Wi-Fi 7 integrated 2x2 mobile connectivity SoC – the FastConnect 7800. With dual Wi-Fi antennas, peak speeds of 5.8 Gbps, and a latency of less than two milliseconds, Qualcomm described the chip as “the fastest and most advanced mobile connectivity system” and will be used to power XR, social gaming, edge compute, as well as the Metaverse.


Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT

A modern digital workplace strategy


The FastConnect 7800 is expected to be the first Wi-Fi 7 solution to ship in commercial products, and is likely to be seen in offerings from Acer, Asus Phone, Honor, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Tencent.

Both the Snapdragon X70 5G and the FastConnect 7800 are currently in the sampling stages and are expected to be included in commercial devices in the second half of 2022.

The announcement comes on the first day of the 2022 Mobile World Congress – two weeks after Qualcomm revealed that it is “working closely with all the IEEE and WFA members to finalise Wi-Fi 7”.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.