Qualcomm Technologies announced its second-generation RF front-end (RFFE) solutions for 5G multi-mode mobile devices. The new products represent a comprehensive RF solution designed to work with the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X55 5G modem, delivering a comprehensive modem-to-antenna system for high-performance 5G mobile devices, supporting both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands.

The newly announced RFFE solutions include the Qualcomm® QTM525 5G mmWave antenna module, which builds on the innovation of Qualcomm Technologies’ first mmWave antenna module, by reducing the height of the module to support 5G smartphone designs sleeker than 8 mm thick. The new module adds support for band n258 (26 GHz) for North America, Europe and Australia, in addition to bands n257 (28 GHz) and n260 (39 GHz) and n261 (U.S. 28 GHz), which are already supported by its predecessors.

Qualcomm mmWave module

100 MHz Envelope Tracking

Qualcomm Technologies is also launching the world’s first announced 5G 100 MHz envelope tracking solution, QET6100, as well as a family of integrated 5G/4G power amplifier (PA) and diversity modules, and the QAT3555 5G adaptive antenna tuning solution.

The QET6100 extends envelope tracking technology to the wide 100 MHz uplink bandwidth and 256-QAM modulation needed for 5G NR, previously considered unattainable. This can achieve up to double the power efficiency compared to the alternative average power tracking technology, enabling faster devices with long battery life, as well as significant improvements in network coverage and capacity — key considerations for network operators.

Qualcomm envelope tracking

PA and Diversity Modules

Qualcomm Technologies’ new advanced RFFE PA and diversity modules include:

  • PA modules which pair with QET6100 to support 100 MHz 5G envelope tracking. QPM6585, QPM5677 and QPM5679 for bands n41, n77/78 and n79, respectively.
  • Mid/high-band 5G/4G PA module QPM5670 features integrated LNA, switch, filters and 5G hexaplexer.
  • Low-band 5G/4G PA module QPM5621 with integrated LNA, switch and filters and support for low-band/low-band carrier aggregation and dual connectivity.
  • Diversity module family QDM58xx, featuring integrated 5G/4G LNA, switch and filters for receive diversity and MIMO support for sub-6 GHz bands.

Adaptive Antenna Tuning

To help OEMs address the growing number of antennas and frequency range support required in mobile devices, Qualcomm Technologies has also introduced the QAT3555 Signal Boost adaptive antenna tuner, extending adaptive antenna tuning technology to 5G bands up to 6 GHz, while featuring a 25 percent reduced package height, and lower loss compared to the previous generation. These products are expected to sample to customers in the first half of 2019 and be featured in commercial devices launching in late 2019.

Qualcomm antenna tuning

Qualcomm's new system solution is engineered to assist OEMs with accelerating time-to-launch, improving performance, supporting an increasing number of frequency bands and lowering development effort for building 5G mobile devices. Mobile operators benefit from improved network capacity and coverage due to the advanced capabilities of devices, while consumers enjoy sleeker 5G smartphones with superior battery life, call reliability, quality, data speeds and network coverage.

“OEMs face a range of formidable design challenges when it comes to 5G. The need to support multimode operation from 5G to 2G, along with an ever-increasing number of band combinations, brings unprecedented complexity. Discrete modem or RF solutions are no longer sufficient. Qualcomm Technologies is unique in the mobile industry by offering a comprehensive modem-to-antenna solution, and we are pioneering efforts in all aspects of 5G and ready to enable our customers with these capabilities to help them commercialize the first wave of 5G devices this year.” — Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm