Qualcomm today unveiled the world's first fully-integrated 5G NR millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6 GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile devices.
The Qualcomm QTM052 mmWave antenna module family and the Qualcomm QPM56xx sub-6 GHz RF module family pair with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem to deliver modem-to-antenna capabilities across several spectrum bands, in a very compact footprint that is suited for integration in mobile devices.
According to Qualcomm until now mmWave signals have not been used for mobile wireless communications due to the many technical and design challenges they pose, which impact nearly every aspect of device engineering, including materials, form-factor, industrial design, thermals, and regulatory requirements for radiated power.
As such, many in the mobile industry considered mmWave highly impractical for mobile devices and networks, and thus unlikely to materialize.
The QTM052 mmWave antenna modules work in tandem with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem to help overcome the formidable challenges associated with mmWave, Qualcomm informed.
They support advanced beam forming, beam steering, and beam tracking technologies, drastically improving the range and reliability of mmWave signals. They feature an integrated 5G NR radio transceiver, power management IC, RF front-end components and phased antenna array.
"Qualcomm Technologies' early investment in 5G has allowed us to deliver to the industry a working mobile mmWave solution that was previously thought unattainable, as well as a fully-integrated sub-6 GHz RF solution. Now, these type of modem-to-antenna solutions, spanning both mmWave and sub-6 spectrum bands, make mobile 5G networks and devices, especially smartphones, ready for large-scale commercialization," said Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm Incorporated.
Qualcomm also said that they support up to 800 MHz of bandwidth in the 26.5-29.5 GHz (n257), as well as the entire 27.5-28.35 GHz (n261) and 37-40 GHz (n260) mmWave bands. Most importantly, the QTM052 modules integrate all these capabilities in a very compact footprint, such that up to four of them can be integrated into a smartphone.