Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 Modem Upgraded With Wider mmWave Coverage Ahead of Inclusion in 2022 iPhones

Qualcomm today announced it has upgraded its Snapdragon X65 5G modem with improved power efficiency and support for wider mmWave carriers, a key requirement ahead of the rollout of 5G mmWave networks in China.

qualcomm snapdragon x65
Specifically, the modem now supports wider 200MHz carrier bandwidth in the mmWave spectrum and mmWave in standalone (SA) mode, while new power-saving technologies part of Qualcomm 5G PowerSave 2.0 allow for longer battery life. These enhancements are possible because the Snapdragon X65 has software-upgradable architecture, allowing for improvements to be made to the modem over time.

First introduced in February, the Snapdragon X65 is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones, enabling theoretical data speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. Apple will likely use the Snapdragon X65 in 2022 iPhones, as part of a multiyear chipset supply agreement with Qualcomm, building on the Snapdragon X55 in the iPhone 12 lineup and likely the Snapdragon X60 in the iPhone 13 lineup.

As with the Snapdragon X60, the Snapdragon X65 can aggregate data from mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency coverage, resulting in an improved 5G experience on the iPhone.

mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas. mmWave support on iPhone 12 models is limited to the United States, but rumors suggest that iPhone 13 models may support mmWave in additional countries.

The Snapdragon X65 could be the last Qualcomm modem used in iPhones, as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have forecasted that Apple may be ready to switch to its rumored in-house 5G modem for iPhones starting in 2023.

Related Roundups: iPhone 13, iPhone 14
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Top Rated Comments

ghostface147 Avatar
42 months ago

What will this year's iPhone be rolling out with?
Exactly what it says in the article.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
42 months ago

I thought Apple was moving towards producing it's own chip for iPhones?
As much as I like Apple and have immense respect for what they've created regarding M-series processor chips, I'm skeptical they'll be able to produce modem chips that will outperform or equal Qualcomm's.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pianostar9 Avatar
42 months ago

I thought Apple was moving towards producing it's own chip for iPhones?

The Snapdragon X65 could be the last Qualcomm modem used in iPhones, as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have forecasted that Apple may be ready to switch to its rumored in-house 5G modem for iPhones starting in 2023 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/05/10/kuo-apple-designed-5g-modem/').
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
42 months ago

I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
I suppose it depends on where you live and travel.

I live in the suburbs where MM wave is non existent, however. The beach resort towns I frequent in MD and DE have substantial deployments of MM wave 5G. So does the area where the hospital I go to in the city for my regular follow ups and imaging.

Last time we were down the beach, I skipped the hotel WIFI and put my phone near the balcony and used that connection to remote into my work computer to take care of some urgent issues. I do the same when I am at the hospital. I basically work from the café that is street facing second floor and remote in. My boss allows it, and it saves me from burning sick time for follow up tests.

I use it more than just around the stadiums and in concert venues. I could remote in on LTE just fine, but the difference in performance is noticeable.

MM wave will never be and "everywhere" thing, but with so many FTTP deployments out there, the roof of every apartment building, light pole, and office building becomes a possible deployment.

It will take time, but I think the long term impact of MM wave technology is misunderstood by a lot of people.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mozumder Avatar
42 months ago
I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bodonnell202 Avatar
42 months ago

I don't see mmWave ever being viable in the US given how suburban US society is. You need access points on top of every street light, and that's not going to happen in the suburbs. And then there's the attenuation from walls, ruining things for anyone indoors. There are very limited use cases for mmWave, such as sporting arenas or concerts.
I think the purpose of mmWave is mostly to maximize bandwidth in areas were there is high density, including stadiums and urban centers - it's unlikely we would see it rolled out in the suburbs.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)