5G is spreading at an unprecedented speed.
Alex Kathuzan, senior vice president and general manager of mobile, computing and infrastructure business of Qualcomm Technologies, said at the “2021 Qualcomm Technology and Cooperation Summit” held in Beijing a few days ago that since the launch of 5G commercial use in 2019, there have been More than 150 operators have deployed 5G.
According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as of May 17 this year, my country has built more than 819,000 5G base stations, accounting for about 70% of the global proportion; 5G mobile phone terminal user connections reached 280 million, accounting for more than 80% of the global proportion; 5G The number of package users has exceeded 350 million.
Behind this rapid growth, Qualcomm, a communications giant, is indispensable. Since the launch of the “5G Pilot Program” in 2018, Qualcomm has used a series of Snapdragon chip platforms, radio frequency technology, and cooperation with different partners in the industry chain to push 5G into multiple areas.
Among them, the field of smartphones is the primary focus of 5G.
Drive new growth in smartphones
As Meng Pu, chairman of Qualcomm China, said, smart phones are the most direct way for consumers to experience 5G today. Data shows that 50% of consumers said that whether to support 5G technology is a factor when buying mobile phones. It is estimated that global 5G smartphone shipments will reach 450-550 million units this year, and this number is expected to exceed 750 million next year. Coming to China, according to the latest statistics from the Institute of Information and Communications Technology, domestic 5G mobile phones accounted for more than 70% of mobile phone shipments from January to April.
“Users hope to enjoy extremely fast and stable connections anytime and anywhere; they also expect mobile phones to bring professional-level mobile gaming experience and high-quality image shooting experience, so that smart phones can become “game consoles”, “cameras” and other professional-level mobile phones in their hands. Equipment; Of course, users also expect smartphones to have all-day battery life.” Meng Pu said.
As a technology leader that has been deeply involved in the communications industry for more than 30 years, Qualcomm is helping 5G smartphones take off from multiple dimensions. For example, the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile platform launched by the company last year is one of the important achievements. According to reports, since the release of Snapdragon 888 in December last year, more than 120 terminals have been designed and adopted around the world, and 40 of them have been released or announced to go on the market.
In order to expand 5G to a larger number of mobile phones with more levels, Qualcomm also recently announced the launch of another 5G mobile platform, Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G. According to reports, the new mobile platform provides superior mobile gaming features, top-level photo and video shooting capabilities, and more powerful AI features. The platform also integrates the Snapdragon X53 modem and radio frequency system, supports millimeter wave and Sub-6GHz frequency bands, and provides a truly global 5G connection.
Not only that, Qualcomm will continue to expand 5G performance to the Snapdragon 6 series and 4 series platforms, continue to build a multi-level 5G mobile platform that spans the Snapdragon 8, 7, 6, 4 series, and bring excellent 5G performance to the mass mobile phone market. , So that consumers in different regions can get a better 5G experience at a more affordable price, thereby further promoting the widespread popularity of 5G.
In addition, Qualcomm has also expanded its support for 5G multi-SIM cards and enhanced the spectrum aggregation function to help global operators use spectrum resources more efficiently to bring users the best 5G experience.
“During the design cycle of Snapdragon flagship-level products, we have designed up to 40 components and core system software for each mobile phone, covering various modules such as connection, radio frequency, power management, audio, filters, etc. Provided by Snapdragon The complete solution contributes to the overall improvement of the smartphone experience, and also creates opportunities for Snapdragon to support other terminals and applications.” Meng Pu gave an example.
It can be seen from Qualcomm’s financial report that the company’s sub-6GHz and millimeter wave radio frequency front-end components including 4G and 5G’s revenue in the second quarter increased by 39% year-on-year, reaching $1.073 billion. This is enough to see the support that Qualcomm has brought to customers in this field.
However, we must emphasize that Qualcomm’s RF front-end is not only used in the company’s smart phones, and like the company’s other chips and technologies, Qualcomm is also optimistic about the huge market outside of mobile phones.
Extending to markets such as automobiles and the Internet of Things
Anmeng told reporters that Qualcomm has been maintaining close cooperation with partners including operators and hardware and software platforms to accelerate the development of the ecosystem. Qualcomm is committed to meeting the needs of different terminals and industries, helping partners to promote 5G applications and realizing 5G benefits. For example, cooperating with the automotive industry to empower 5G connected cars equipped with advanced digital cockpits and C-V2X is another focus of Qualcomm’s 5G application in a wide range of markets.
Qualcomm pointed out that among the many areas empowered by 5G, the automotive industry will become one of the first areas to be transformed by cellular technology. According to reports, it has been deeply involved in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years, and 20 of the world’s top 25 automakers have chosen the Snapdragon automotive digital cockpit platform. Qualcomm’s automotive solutions have empowered more than 150 million vehicles worldwide. Covering four major areas-in-vehicle networking and cellular vehicle networking (C-V2X), digital cockpits, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving, and cloud-side terminal management. Financial data show that Qualcomm’s automotive business revenue in this year’s Q2 was 240 million U.S. dollars, compared with 170 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year, an increase of 40% year-on-year.
“In the past two to three decades, the automotive industry has used various technologies to realize the interconnection of many Electronic components in the car. In the next ten years, cars will be interconnected with the cloud, which will fundamentally change how the car is defined and the car’s business Mode and future user experience. Cars will also become the next generation of smart terminals after personal computers and mobile phones.” Meng Pu said.
In addition to automobiles, the Internet of Things is another market where Qualcomm is developing its strength. The revenue of this part of the business in Q2 this year was US$1.073 billion, an increase of 71% over the same period last year.
According to Meng Pu, Qualcomm has been engaged in the field of Internet of Things for many years and has achieved fruitful results in cooperation with Chinese manufacturers. For example, based on the Snapdragon X55, Qualcomm and its partners have taken the lead in launching the industry’s first batch of commercial 5G IoT terminals and applications, covering 5G ultra-high-definition live backpacks, robots, industrial gateways, CPE and other categories for use in live news and epidemics More than ten scenarios, including prevention and control, distance education, and industrial inspections, have created positive social and economic benefits; last year, Qualcomm also joined more than 20 partners to jointly advocate and launch the “5G Internet of Things Innovation Plan”. The three dimensions of form, ecological cooperation and digital upgrade promote the innovation and win-win situation of the Internet of Things industry.
For 5G modules that can be used in a wide range of IoT fields, Qualcomm also launched the Snapdragon X65 in February this year. As the world’s first modem and radio system that supports 10Gbps 5G rates and is the first to comply with 3GPP Release 16 specifications, the scalable software architecture of Snapdragon X65 supports the creation of future-oriented solutions to help accelerate 5G expansion and provide users with better Network coverage, energy efficiency and performance. Only two weeks after the release of the Snapdragon X65, 5G modules launched by Quectel, Fibocom, SIMCom and other manufacturers have been unveiled at MWC Shanghai, demonstrating the powerful performance of the Snapdragon X65 and the cooperation between Qualcomm and China Partners have long-term close collaboration. During the Qualcomm Technology and Cooperation Summit just held, Qualcomm also announced the upgrade of the Snapdragon X65, including energy efficiency improvements and support for larger millimeter wave carrier bandwidth, which is more necessary to meet the needs of China’s 5G millimeter wave network deployment Key requirements.
For the industrial Internet of Things, Qualcomm even launched a specially optimized Qualcomm 315 5G Internet of Things modem and radio frequency system. “Through top-level gigabit connectivity, lower power consumption and flexibility, 315 5G can provide high performance and low power for many application scenarios including retail, energy, automation and manufacturing, precision agriculture, construction, mining and public places. Internet of Things solutions that consume energy,” emphasized Sun Gang, Qualcomm’s vice president of product marketing.
He further pointed out that Qualcomm 315 modem supports the global 5G NR Sub-6GHz frequency band in independent networking mode, and can switch to the LTE network according to the needs of the scene; and supports 5G enterprise private network or public network deployment through network slicing technology or isolated deployment scheme . In addition, Qualcomm also provides a longer software and hardware maintenance and support cycle for 315.
“It is worth mentioning that the Qualcomm 315 5G IoT modem provides a pin-compatible solution that can minimize development investment and cost, and support seamless upgrades of existing LTE modules to 5G,” Sun Gang told reporters.
In order to accelerate the popularization of 5G in PCs, always-connected PCs (ACPC), laptops, CPE, XR, games, and other mobile broadband (MBB) terminal devices, Qualcomm also launched the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 and X62 5G M.2 reference design. The reference design is designed for plug-and-play M.2 product forms, and can help OEMs quickly launch high-performance 5G products.
It can be seen that Qualcomm is bringing infinite opportunities to more industries besides mobile phones, such as automobiles and the Internet of Things, through innovative technologies and rich 5G solutions.
Where will 5G technology go?
“From smartphones to cars, from robots to the Internet of Things, Qualcomm has presented many 5G products and applications that are already within reach. But these are just the beginning, and there is still a very strong technological evolution path for 5G in the future. Qualcomm continues to invest The pace of 5G research and development has never slowed down.” Meng Pu said. Among them, support for millimeter waves will be the next urgent work focus.
According to the 5G millimeter wave test plan of the IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, the millimeter wave large uplink frame structure will be promoted in 2021 to support differentiated application scenarios. Katuzan also emphasized that millimeter wave technology is essential to unleash the full potential of 5G, and the advantages of millimeter wave have also become the focus of industry attention. This is mainly because millimeter waves support multi-gigabit speeds and large capacities, and are cost-effective. The above are all part of the original vision of 5G.
As an industry leader, Qualcomm has been promoting the steady progress of millimeter wave technology.
According to reports, at the end of May, ZTE, China Unicom, Qualcomm Technologies and TVU Networks jointly announced that Sifang has successfully completed the world’s first 5G millimeter wave 8K video based on a large uplink frame structure on the 26GHz (n258) frequency band in a laboratory environment. Return the business presentation. The DSUUU frame structure used in this demonstration increases the uplink peak rate of the existing millimeter wave technology by three times by allocating more time slots for the uplink. The demonstration verified the super uplink capability of 5G millimeter wave, which is of great significance for meeting the large uplink bandwidth requirements of many 5G industry applications in the future.
Dr. Xu Hao, head of R&D at Qualcomm China, pointed out that the important contribution of 5G is to connect the physical world, digital world and virtual world, and promote the better integration of these three worlds. And the most important dependence is hard-core technology.
From Xu Wei’s introduction, we know that in the process of advancing from R15 to R16 and R17, 5G networks have moved to all walks of life in the vertical field. In the future, the company’s research and development work will focus on the three versions of R18, R19, and R20, and the company will also invest in 6G pre-research. By then, the communications industry will usher in more technological breakthroughs.
Katuzan said: “We are committed to continuously tapping the potential of 5G, and we have been striving to provide customers with the most comprehensive solutions. Qualcomm’s role in the industry is to support all ecosystem participants to create better quality new products and solutions by reducing complexity. Services. By accelerating the development of technological trends such as XR, autonomous driving, robotics, and cloud services, we will be able to achieve innovation beyond imagination.
“In the future. We will continue to invest in research and development, and sincerely cooperate with all important industry stakeholders to fully meet the development needs of the ecosystem, and jointly promote the rapid commercial use of 5G.” Katuzan added.
Looking back at the development of communication networks over the past ten years, data transmission speed has achieved a qualitative leap. Especially in the 5G era, whether it is an increase in speed, an increase in bandwidth, or a reduction in delay, it has never been possible. This gives people the opportunity and the ability to use 5G to change thousands of industries. For example, 5G smart phones, 5G PCs, 5G smart cars, 5G smart robots, 5G XR extended reality and 5G industrial Internet of Things applications are all the results brought by manufacturers including Qualcomm after only two years of 5G commercialization.
With the active participation of these manufacturers, we have reason to believe that 5G will revolutionize all walks of life just like electricity. Let us look forward to this moment.
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