What will 5G change? After speaking for a long time, high-definition movies and games are not blocked, they are just the most basic 5G experience improvement. In contrast, we hope to see the emergence of some new scenarios, such as cloud-based access to nearly unlimited storage space. , Or the widespread popularity of VR / AR glasses.
5G will not only affect individual devices but an entire industry ecology. Today, from upstream chip companies to telecom operators, to mobile phone manufacturers, and even various Internet of Things companies, all participate in the construction of the entire 5G industry without exception. But before this industry becomes a huge business, we still have to solve the most basic problems, such as chips.
5G phones are not new. From the earliest Samsung S10 and Huawei Mate 20 X to Vivo NEX 3 and Xiaomi 9 Pro, these phones that have not been released for more than one year all have a branching series with a “5G” suffix. It is to seize the first wave of 5G mobile phones in 2019.
2019 is also the first year of 5G commercial deployment. Currently, more than 40 operators worldwide have deployed 5G networks, and more than 40 terminal manufacturers have announced the launch of 5G terminals.
However, the pricing range and number of products, as well as network coverage, determine that the 5G market capacity in 2019 will not be very large. According to IDC data, in the third quarter of this year, China ’s smartphone market shipped more than 90 million units, but only 58.5 million were part of 5G mobile phones, a small proportion.
In fact, considering that China ’s 5G network has not obtained a network access license until it officially opened its commercial package, it only took half a year, indicating that 5G is still a while away from mass adoption, but at the same time, it is also reserved for chip and mobile phone manufacturers More time to launch more powerful products.
Qualcomm President Ammon said that 5G will be the focus of Qualcomm in 2020, it will bring a new opportunity to the industry, and the new Snapdragon 5G platform will promote the realization of the 2020 5G scale deployment vision.
The keyword here is not only “5G”, but also “scale deployment.” To achieve the goal means that Qualcomm must not only come up with a high-performance 5G chip that is worth exciting in the industry but also reduce the price threshold of 5G mobile phones as much as possible from the perspective of cost and efficiency.
The Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 chips released at the Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii are for this purpose.
Let’s talk about the Snapdragon 865 chip. It integrates the Snapdragon X55 baseband to support frequency band combinations in most regions of the world, such as millimeter-wave and TDD / FDD frequency bands below 6GHz, as well as non-independent (NSA) and independent (SA) Networking, dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), global 5G roaming, and multi-SIM card design.
In addition, it also has a peak downlink speed of 7.5Gbps far beyond its peers. It also reduces the complexity of mobile phone design through system-level RF solutions and modular platforms.
At the summit, Gao Tongxin said heartily that the characteristics and support range of the Snapdragon 865 and X55 basebands are currently the most advanced, which has also been recognized by most people in the industry.
The appearance of Snapdragon 765 / 765G also proves that 5G baseband is no longer exclusive to the flagship chip, and Qualcomm is ready to decentralize 5G mobile phones to the mid-range price segment. Among them, the Redmi K30 released on December 10 adopted Snapdragon 765G, and also took the lead in lowering the price of 5G mobile phones to 1999 yuan.
According to official Qualcomm news, including Black Shark, Coolpad, iQOO, Lenovo, Meizu, Nubian Red Devils, OnePlus, Realme, Redmi, Nut Phone, TCL, Vivo, Wingtech, ZTE, and 8848, etc., all are planned for 2020 and Snapdragon 865 or 765 will be used in future 5G terminals.
It can be said that the road to the mass popularization of 5G has officially started at this moment, and we will soon see a new wave of 5G mobile phones. Qualcomm does not make mobile phones but determines the maximum capacity of most devices
From a physical perspective, most of the chips are hidden inside the device, but it has always been the most core driver. Today, you see most of the novel technologies on smartphones, such as the megapixel camera, the high refresh rate screen, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth, and various graphics API interfaces, which are almost inseparable from chip-level support.
To some extent, Qualcomm can be regarded as the “behind the scenes” of new technologies in the mobile phone industry. This is inseparable from its rich technology reserves and R & D investment for many years. From the perspective of Qualcomm, in order to allow more manufacturers to use their own Chip, Qualcomm is also as close as possible to the development pace and market demand of the entire industry.
Qualcomm China Chairman Meng Pu stressed in a media interview at the summit that Qualcomm does not make terminal products, but only products such as technology and chips. Qualcomm and mobile phone manufacturers complement each other and achieve each other. After all, the success of partners is also the same as the success of Qualcomm.
Take the Snapdragon 865 chip this time. The 5G that everyone cares about only represents a part of its network connection capabilities. In addition, it also supports new connection technologies such as WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and Ultra-Wideband Voice (SWB). It can further improve the sound quality of Bluetooth headsets, and provide lower latency, longer battery life, and higher link stability.
There is also a new “Spectra 480” built-in ISP image processor, which not only supports a processing speed of 2 billion pixels per second, can take photos up to 200 million pixels, record up to 8K / 30fps, or support Dolby Vision (Dolby Vision ) 4K-HDR video.
At the same time, the Snapdragon 865 can also achieve slow-motion recording at 960 frames in 720p image quality for an unlimited period of time. It can even capture 4K-HDR video while capturing up to 64-megapixel photos.
From this point of view, there will definitely be a lot of Android mobile phones with a million-pixel camera next year, and the image processing capabilities of smartphones will still usher in a significant wave of improvement.
In terms of games, Qualcomm also introduced a driver update function similar to PC graphics cards for the first time on the GPU side, allowing developers to use desktop-level light sources and post-processing effects on mobile phone platforms to further improve the quality of game performance.
The upper limit of the screen refresh has also been increased from 90Hz to 144Hz, which means that the visual smoothness of the flagship machine in 2020 will have a breakthrough.
Finally, there is the AI part. The Snapdragon 865’s AI engine is upgraded to the fifth generation, which supports 15 trillion operations per second, which is twice as high as last year’s 855.
From this point of view, the functions that flagship mobile phones can achieve in 2020 can basically be determined. The improvements made by Qualcomm in 5G, photography, AI, and games have actually followed the product needs of mobile phone manufacturers in recent years. More and more camera designs, ultra-high pixel sensors, as well as demand-driven by professional fields such as gaming phones and cloud games.
Only based on the advancement from the bottom of the chip can mobile phone manufacturers and application developers bring better products to consumers, and the original software can be improved year after year.
In addition to smartphones, 5G experiences will appear in these areas
The beneficiaries of the 5G era are not limited to the category of smartphones. In the era of emphasis on the interconnection of all things, Qualcomm also hopes to bring its own Snapdragon chip into more fields.
Qualcomm President Anmon’s speech at the Snapdragon Summit can also explain some things. It can be said that in the 5G future described by Qualcomm, mobile phones are not the only important ones, and other areas also have huge development potential.
One is VR and AR equipment. Qualcomm uses a new term to call this new category: Extended Reality (XR) platform. Previously, all-in-one VR all-in-ones such as Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Focus have adopted Qualcomm’s first-generation XR. On the second-generation platform, Qualcomm has further enhanced the processing performance and the upper limits of screen resolution and frame rate.
At the same time, Qualcomm also pulled Niantic, a well-known AR game development company such as “Pokemon Go”. The latter announced that it would cooperate with Qualcomm to develop a universal reference design similar to AR glasses, which is believed to further reduce terminal manufacturers’ exposure to AR. The difficulty of glasses.
But the most important thing is 5G. High-speed, low-latency networks have always been regarded as important boosters for VR / AR platforms. With 5G, these headsets do not need to be limited to indoor fixed scenarios but can be detached. WiFi goes outdoors and relies on 5G to ensure the stable transmission of content.
At the scene, Qualcomm demonstrated a remote conference solution developed by Spatial. With VR headsets, users can conduct remote conferences with colleagues in other places without leaving home, and can also change the conference background at any time. For different scenes of the beach, cafe and so on.
Another area where Qualcomm is working is laptops, devices that are also closely related to our daily work.
On the third day of the Snapdragon Technology Summit, Qualcomm released two new PC chips-Snapdragon 8c and 7c. They are positioned as an extension of the existing flagship Snapdragon 8cx platform, which is mainly targeted at mainstream and entry-level PC devices. There is also an enterprise-class computing platform built on the original Snapdragon 8cx so that Qualcomm-based PC equipment can cover more price segments.
Compared to the X86 chip that emphasizes performance, the ARM series chips represented by Qualcomm Snapdragon also have their own advantages, namely longer battery life, fanless design, and all-weather cellular network connection. If the manufacturer is equipped with the latest Snapdragon X55 baseband, it means that laptops can get the same 5G network as mobile phones, and even if they are out of the office, they will not have to find WiFi everywhere.
In the foreseeable 5G era, Qualcomm will inevitably provide targeted 5G chip solutions for more fields. Most of the devices we touch will gradually become microcomputers like smartphones, and they will continue to expand with the help of 5G networks. Ability boundary.
In the end, Snapdragon chips in various fields will become the core of our future access to a comprehensive network experience on diversified 5G devices, and innovative applications related to 5G will also make us overwhelmed. Then look back at the 7.5Gbps peak rate supported by the Snapdragon 865, which may only be called the most ordinary indicator.