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The new modem is especially suitable for low-power IoT devices.

This week Qualcomm announced a New Radio (NR) 5G modem – one which they believe addresses a previously unserved market segment – namely, that of low power IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

Gautam Sheoran, Qualcomm’s Vice President, Product Management, and Mohammed Al Khairy, Director, Product Marketing, introduced the Snapdragon X35 in a blog post. They observe that until now, 5G technology has been focused on “either high-performance use cases such as industrial application or on low complexity devices, such as sensors and asset trackers”. There is, however, another use case that has not been addressed: “mid-tier applications”.

“A new class of 5G”

Snapdragon X35, they say, represents “the world’s 1st NR-Light”. They have designated the line as RedCap for “reduced capability” introduced in 3GPP Release 17. The new chip should bring a “new class of 5G” that bridges the complexity gap between high-speed mobile broadband devices and extremely low-bandwidth NB-IOT devices. Also, thanks to their reduced complexity, NR-Light devices can be smaller, more cost-efficient, and provide longer battery life than traditional mobile broadband devices.

Thanks to the Snapdragon X35, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) “can now realize the full potential of what’s possible for a personal, business, and industrial connected device ecosystem”.

“Harnessing and expanding” the 5G ecosystem

As “the world’s first release 17 NR-Light modem”, Snapdragon X35 will set a new standard 5G performance for a wide spectrum of use cases, including “smartwatches, AR glasses, entry-level broadband, and more”.

The chip strikes a “balance between robust capability and low complexity”, Qualcomm says. Moreover, it combines power efficiency, advanced performance, and a streamlined footprint. This, they claim, enables OEMs to create compact devices that “harness and expand the 5G ecosystem”.

The Snapdragon X35 will offer a wide range of Qualcomm 5G features. The product will deliver increased battery efficiency, enhanced 5G coverage, and improved location accuracy, according to the company. Snapdragon X35 “enables compact 5G devices to work longer and from more places across the globe”. Moreover, the combination of boosted uplink speeds with low latency offers “real-time experiences in a fast-paced, rapidly changing world”.

Also read: Huawei could be cut off completely from chip access