Market Insight

Current State of Competitive 5G Modems

February 19, 2019  | Subscribers Only

Wayne Lam Wayne Lam Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices & Networks

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A little over 2 years ago, Qualcomm claimed a 5G first with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem for mobile devices during a conference in Hong Kong.  Today, the San Diego firm followed up with their 2nd generation discrete 5G modem chipset with the Snapdragon X55, a new chipset that improves on many of the key 5G features that are required for global 5G deployment.  While Qualcomm owned the conversation around 5G device designs throughout 2017 and much of 2018, other competitors were slowly catching up.  During the 2nd half of 2018, competitive 5G solutions providers began announcing their offerings.  It started with Samsung LSI’s Exynos 5100.  Followed by more traditional merchant chipset vendors such as Intel and Mediatek.  Just a month ago, another captive modem provider (HiSilicon) debuted their mobile 5G chipsets.  In this article, we will explore the key features being offered by the various chipset vendors and add color to the design choices made.

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