Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem with 1.2Gbps Download Speeds

Qualcomm, fresh off after releasing its first gigabit LTE modem with the X16 in the Snapdragon 835, is back with yet another such modem.

Called the Snapdragon X20, the new modem supports speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps (up from 1.0Gbps on the X16) or Category 18, as well as 150 Mbps Category 13 upload speeds.

How the chip differs from its predecessors is through its ability to combine more licensed and unlicensed streams together for a compound effect of around 1.2 Gbps.

The X20 supports up to 5x carrier aggregation as well as 4×4 MIMO antennas, which allow up to 12 streams of data to be retrieved between three to twenty 20MHz blocks of spectums.

With 256-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), up to 100 Mbps of data can be sent across these streams. Pretty much all the popular LTE, CDMA and GSM standards are going to be covered.

The modems are also built on the 10nm FinFET procedure by Samsung. The launch could put Qualcomm on a slightly higher footing than Intel, which is announced its own 14nm XMM 7560 chip with theoretical speeds “exceeding” 1 Gbps. (It does offer upload speeds of 225 Mbps, though.)

With more carriers said to be working on faster data connections, expect to see these chips in products by the first half of next year.

That may seem quite a bit far, but given there’s only one carrier supporting gigabit LTE right now, it probably won’t matter for now.