Qualcomm unveiled its second-generation 5G modem, which is intended to offer more flexibility by supporting a wider range of deployment types and applications globally.

Called Snapdragon X55, the chip supports “all major frequency bands, whether mmWave or sub-6GHz, supports TDD and FDD modes of operation and is capable of both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) deployments”.

The 7nm chip is also described as a “5G to 2G multimode modem”, being compatible with previous mobile generations and including high-speed LTE (Category 22) support.

It also enables dynamic spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G, allowing operators to speed deployments by using existing frequencies to support both technologies.

Qualcomm’s existing 5G modem is set to power the first generation of compatible smartphones from vendors including OnePlus, Xiaomi and LG, among others. Qualcomm has previously touted more than 30 commercial design wins for X50 in partnership with the Snapdragon 855 processor. But this combination has also limited adoption to smartphones, which is the natural home for high-end silicon.

The chip giant said X55 is “designed to bring 5G to a broad range of devices including premium smartphones, mobile hotspots, always-connected PCs, laptops, tablets, fixed wireless access points, extended reality devices, and automotive applications”.

Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, said: “We expect our platform to accelerate 5G commercial momentum and power virtually all 5G launches in 2019 while significantly expanding the global 5G rollout footprint.”

Supporting the launch, Qualcomm also announced a new 5G mmWave antenna module (QTM525), a new single-chip 14nm RF transceiver for 5G sub-6GHz and LTE, and sub-6GHz RF front-end modules.

It said the package together offers a “next generation modem-to-antenna solution for all major spectrum bands, helping customers to build 5G devices quickly, and at global scale”.

Snapdragon X55 is currently sampling to customers and expected to be in commercial devices by late 2019. The new antenna products are expected to sample in the first half, with commercial device launches also late in 2019.