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Qualcomm introduces 5g modem system for small, low-power IoT devices

News Analysis
Feb 14, 20232 mins

Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF caters to edge devices in low-power environments.

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5G connectivity is being used in a wide range of products, but one thing they have in common is that they tend to be very high-powered devices. Up until now, there has been little emphasis on low-power devices, such as small edge/IoT devices or consumer products.

Qualcomm is addressing that with Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF, a 5G New Radio (NR) processor designed to serve the low-power and low-bandwidth markets.

The company claims it is the first NR-Light processor based on the 2020 3GPP Release 17 spec that was written to support low-power 5G IoT devices over any of the broadcast frequencies allocated to 5G. At the same time, it is compatible with legacy LTE (4G). The spec is also known as “reduced capacity” or RedCap.

“Our new integrated modem-RF system is optimized for power consumption and performance so modems can do more with less,” wrote Gautam Sheoran, vice president of product management at Qualcomm in a blog post announcing the processor.

The chip was intended to bridge the complexity gap between high-speed mobile broadband devices and extremely low-bandwidth IOT devices. Snapdragon X35 also has a reduced footprint meant to fit more readily into smaller IoT devices such as surveillance cameras, industrial sensors, wearables, and consumer devices.

Customer sampling of Snapdragon X35 is expected to begin in the first half of 2023. The first commercial mobile devices are expected to be launched by the first half of 2024.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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