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RedCap modem connects IoT devices to 5G networks

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 5G NR-Light modem supports 3GPP Release 17 specifications for connected devices in the Sub- 6 GHz band.

Snapdragon X35While most of the world thinks of 5G in terms of mobile phones, some know that 5G will soon connect machines and IoT devices to other machines and computing networks. To make that happen, engineers will need to design 5G modems into their devices or use pre-certified modules. Furthermore, 3GPP Release 17 specifies a different 5G radio than mobile phones use. Known as 5G NR-Light and reduced capability (RedCap), this technology provides lower data rates than for consumer devices. Qualcomm has introduced a 5G NR-Light modem, the Snapdragon X35.

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon X35 is the first modem to address 5G NR-Light. The complete chipset includes an RF transceiver and RF front end (RFFE).

In accordance with Release 17, the Snapdragon X35 supports a single transmit antenna with one or two receiving antennas. Peak download speeds reach 220 Mb/sec with peak upload speeds at 100 Mb/sec. Operating in 5G frequency range 1 (FR1, sub-6 GHz) with 20-MHz channel bandwidth, the X35 operates with 256 QAM modulation (download) and 64 QAM upload. It supports TDD, FDD, and Half-Duplex FDD (HD-FDD) data multiplexing.

Qualcomm calls the Snapdragon X35 a low-power device that uses the company’s QET5100 envelope tracking as well as its “smart transmit” technology, Ultra-Low Latency Suite, and 5G PowerSave Gen4 technologies. The company doesn’t, however, provide details on these technologies nor does it provide power-consumption specifications online.

The Snapdragon X35 supports voice calling for automated monitoring applications where users need notifications should a process go out of range. Voice calling uses VoNR and VoLTE technologies.

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