5G Modems Chipsets
Since our last report there has been further activity in the 5G chipset arena.
Hi-Silicon (Huawei) has launched its first generation 5G-only Balong 5G01 cellular modem and, more recently, its second generation LTE/5G Balong 5000 cellular modems. A 5G version of its Kirin processor, the Kirin 990, has also been launched.
Mediatek has announced the Helio M70 modem and more recently in May 2019 a multi-mode 5G system-on-chip (incorporating the M70 modem). Devices containing the chipset are expected to come to market in 2020.
Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon 855 and 855+ mobile platforms and the Snapdragon X50 modem. Its x55 modem is coming soon. It also announced its 8cx 5G platform for laptops And recently confirmed that 5G chips will become available in its Snapdragon 6 and 7 series devices next year.
Samsung has launched its Exynos 5100 (S5T5100) modem and recently announced the Exynos 980 mobile processor and complementary Exynos 5123 modem. Mass production is expected by the end of 2019.
UNISOC (formerly Spreadtrum) has been widely reported for launching its IVY510 5G modem chipset (also called IVYO510 in some literature). In November, it announced that the modem had completed testing in China.
U-Blox has announced a 5G-upgradeable chipset. Its UBX-R5 IoT chipset will be ultimately capable of supporting 5G, but it will need an OTA software upgrade to do this.
Of these, we consider Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 and 855+ platforms and its X50 modem, the Samsung Exynos 5100 and Hi-Silicon Balong 5G01, and 5000 modems and Kirin 990 processor to be commercially available; all other 5G silicon listed we consider to be at a pre-commercial stage, though some samples may be shipping. The precise commercial status of these chipsets, and of mobile platforms that integrate with these modems, is difficult to confirm. MediaTek says that devices using its Helio M70 modem will be commercially available in 2019; while the SoC is expected to appear in devices in Q1 2020. The Qualcomm X55 modem is available for sampling and is due to be in commercial devices by late 2019.
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