Qualcomm bringing 5G to its 7- and 6-series Snapdragon mobile platforms
On Monday, U.S. chip manufacturer Qualcomm announced that it is acquiring the remaining interest in RF360, bringing the total purchase price of the company to $3.1 billion. RF360 began as a joint venture between Qualcomm and Tokyo-based electronics giant TDK corporation, and the acquisition, according to the chip manufacturer, will aid in the push to scale 5G.
“The next goal, which I think will start in 2020, is to scale 5G,” said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm in an interview. The company is looking to bring 5G to its 7 and 6 series Snapdragon mobile processors instead of just its premium tier. According to Amon, this will make 5G more accessible by providing “phones at multiple platforms for 5G.”
Amon also stated that Qualcomm is adding to its numbers. “We’re adding […] new employees to Qualcomm, and it’s just the last milestone in our journey to be building RF [radio frequency]business for Qualcomm,” he said.
With headquarters in Munich, Germany, RF360 was established by the two tech companies to drive Radio Frequency Front End (RFFE) innovation for mobile devices and fast-growing business segments, such as IoT, drones and robotics.
With the same goal of scaling 5G, Qualcomm announced earlier this month that it is expanding its portfolio of 5G mobile platform across Snapdragon 8 Series, 7 Series and 6 Series in 2020, which the company said has the potential to make 5G accessible to more than 2 billion smartphone users. The impact, according Amon, will be the most significant when using a phone to stream video games and accessing social media.
“There’s going to be a lot more live aspects to Facebook and the other social platforms,” Amon said. “And then we go into gaming. You’ll see gaming evolving to mobile platforms, and 5G will make all of that a reality.”
The past few months have been big for Qualcomm as it continues to establish its dominance in the connectivity market. At its Wi-Fi 6 Day in San Francisco this summer, the company revealed its new AP solution, the Networking Pro Series and its new client solution, FastConnect 6800, which, unlike the previous model, FastConnect 6200, has Wi-Fi 6 capabilities.
The Networking Pro Series is comprised of four distinct platforms: the 400, 600, 800 and 1200 platform that support up to four, six, eight and 12 spatial streams, respectively, and are all implemented on a system on chip (SoC) architecture that employs a quad-core A53 processor.