While Qualcomm continues to spearhead the mobile SoC and modem markets, the company is not as strong as it once was in those markets, but this does not mean that innovation is dead. Far from it, as Qualcomm continuously introduces new LTE technologies such as its new Snapdragon X16 modem, which is said to boast of Category 16 LTE download speeds of up to 1Gbps, now how about that? In order to take things into context, majority of the handsets out there tend to max out at 300Mbps or 450Mbps, and the soon-to-arrive Snapdragon 820 will hit the 600Mbps mark.
As for the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, it has been specially designed to feature Gigabit Class LTE speeds that will make use of the similar amount of spectrum as Category 9 LTE devices. With the utilization of carrier aggregation as well as 4×4 MIMO, the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem then achieves the ability to receive 10 unique streams of data via a trio of 20 MHz carriers, while supporting 256-QAM that helps to boost the peak throughput of each stream from ~75 Mbps to ~100 Mbps. To sweeten the deal, modem data compression could result in further additional gains.
How soon will we be able to see this X16 LE modem being integrated with one of the Snapdragon SoCs around? Word on the street has it that it will happen some time later this year, or in 2017 if it misses the boat.