Qualcomm, Huawei, Lianfeng, Intel, Samsung and Ziguang Zhanrui have all released their own 5G baseband chips. Is Qualcomm still the leader in this field?
From the evolution of 5G standard, unlike the previous standard, which determines industry before development, according to the timetable of 3GPP organization, the completion time of R16 standard will be December 2019, and the final 5G complete standard will not be submitted to ITU (International Telecommunication Union) until early 2020. This means that only 5G products launched after 2020 can support the complete 5G standard.
However, chips and terminal products need to vary from one year to several years.DevelopmentCycle, if we wait for 5G standard to be determined before product development, it is obviously difficult to obtain competitive advantage in 5G market. Therefore, we can see that even if we need to face many challenges brought by uncertain standards, all parties in the industrial chain have already actively invested in 5G R&D.
Preliminary Development of 5G Baseband Chip
In addition to standard issues, mobile communication technology evolved to the fifth generation is naturally the most complex. At this time, the importance of technology accumulation in competition emerges.In October 2016, Qualcomm released the industry's first 5G modem X50 in Hong Kong.Qualcomm had studied millimeter wave, MIMO, advanced radio frequency and other basic technologies in the 1990s. At that time, Qualcomm could not predict that these technologies would play a role in the 5G era.
As the industry's first 5G modem, MX50 can achieve peak download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second, support the 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, and support multi-input multi-output (MIMO) antenna technology of adaptive beamforming and beam tracking technology. From the point of view of technical characteristics, it seems that this product can be first introduced largely because of its long-term technological accumulation.
Due to its early launch, the MX50 only supports 5G network, which is incompatible with the previous generation network. Later, it was frequently mentioned by competitors. In addition, the appearance of Miaolong X50 was in the second half of 2017. As a leader in the field of communications equipment, Huawei will naturally not be absent from the competition.In February 2018, on the eve of MWC 2018, Huawei released its first 5G commercial chip, Balong 5G01, and 5G CPE based on the chip.
At this time, due to the announcement of the completion of the R15 standard SA standard (December 2017), Baron 5G01 is known as the first commercial 5G chip based on the 3GPP standard in the world. In terms of characteristics, Baron 5G01 supports the global mainstream 5G band, including Sub6GHz (low frequency) and mmWave (high frequency), which can theoretically achieve a maximum download rate of 2.3Gbps. At the same time, the characteristics of Baron 5G01 supporting 5G independent (SA) and non-independent (NSA) networking are also worth mentioning.
At the same time, the 5G low-frequency CPE based on Baron 5G01 weighs 3 kg and has a volume of 2 liters. The measured peak downlink rate is 2Gbps and the peak number rate of 5G high-frequency CPE is 2Gbps, which supports millimeter-wave multi-band compatibility with 4G/5G.
First generation 5G baseband appears densely
Four months laterIn June 2018, the United Development Section unveiled its first 5G baseband chip, Helio M70.The baseband chip is designed according to the new 3GPP Rel-155G air port standard, including support for SA and NSA network architecture, support for Sub-6GHz band, high power terminal (HPUE) and other 5G key technologies. The United Development Section plans to start shipping Helio M70 in 2019.
Two months laterIn August 2018, Samsung also launched Exynos 5100, a 5G modem for 5G NR release-15. Samsung emphasized that its single chip implemented "multimode mode mode".Samsung said that Exynos 5100 not only uses 5G, but also supports different generations of mobile communication standards (GSM (Global Mobile Communication System), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), WCDMA (Broadband Code Division Multiple Access), TD-SCDMA (Time Synchronized Code Division Multiple Access), HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), LTE-FDD (Long Term Evolution-Frequency Division Duplex) and LTE-TDD (Long Term Evolution-Time Division Duplex). In terms of speed, Exynos modem 5100 supports a maximum download speed of 2 Gbps in the low frequency band below 6GHz in 5G communication environment, 1.7 times faster than 4G products; it also supports a download speed of 5 times faster in high frequency band (mmWave, millimeter wave) environment, up to 6Gbps.
However, Samsung only said that the terminal with Exynos 5100 had passed the OTA transceiver test successfully, and did not announce when the 5G mobile phone with Exynos 5100 would be launched.
In the same month,Motorola Moto Z3, the world's first 5G mobile phone, which can be installed with an independent module based on X50 chip to realize 5G connection, is being released.This means that Qualcomm has an advantage over Huawei, which has released 5G baseband chips and 5G CPE. After all, the product form of CPE is lower than that of smartphones in terms of size and heat dissipation.
Maybe it's because the progress of competitors has put too much pressure on Intel.In November 2018, Intel released the XMM 81605G modem. Intel said it accelerated the progress of the modem and advanced the release date by more than half a year.XMM 8160 is suitable for mobile phones, PCs and broadband access gateways. The single chip supports 5G NR standards including SA and NSA modes, as well as existing access technologies of 4G, 3G and 2G. The rate can support up to 6Gbps peak rate.
Intel expects XMM 81605G modems to be shipped in the second half of 2019. Commercial devices using Intel XMM 81605G modems, including mobile phones, PCs and broadband access gateways, are expected to be available in the first half of 2020.
Huawei and Qualcomm's Second Generation Baseband Debate
Enter intoIn late January 2019, at the 5G conference and MWC 2019 pre-communication conference in China, Huawei released the world's fastest 5G multi-mode terminal chip Balong 5000 and commercial terminals.Huawei said that Baron 5000 baseband is the world's first single-core multi-mode 5G baseband with 7Nm technology. It not only supports 5G SA independent and NSA fee independent networking, but also supports 4G, 3G and 2G networks. It is the strongest 5G baseband at present.
Yu Chengdong used Baron 5000 to compare with Qiaolong X50 of Qualcomm at the conference site. From the following comparison chart, we can see that Qualcomm X50 is weaker than Balong 5000 in multi-mode support, NSA/SA support, 200M bandwidth support, high speed, multi-band, upstream and downstream decoupling.
Like the release of Ballon 5G01, Huawei also released a 5G CPE Pro based on Ballon 5000 baseband chip, which supports 5G network at a rate of 3.2Gbps and WiFi 6.
Yu Chengdong's chart clearly needs to be updated in less than a month.Before the launch of MWC2019, Qualcomm announced the release of the second generation 5G modem MWC2019.The upgraded X55 can achieve up to 7 Gbps download speed and up to 3 Gbps upload speed in 5G mode, while supporting Category 22 LTE to bring up to 2.5 Gbps download speed.
At the same time, MX55 supports all major global bands, whether in millimeter wave band or below 6 GHz band; supports TDD and FDD operation mode; SA and NSA network deployment. There are two other noteworthy technical features of MYLONG X55. One is the spectrum sharing of 4G/5G. In the same cell, MYLONG X55 can share overlapping spectrum of 4G and 5G at the same time. The other is full-dimensional MIMO.
Qualcomm said that the Miaolong X55 is currently in the sample stage, and the commercial terminal is expected to be released in 2019.
Competition for 5G mobile phones is about to begin
MWC officially launched in 2019, Huawei released 5G folding screen mobile phone Mate X, equipped with Kirin 980 processor and Balon 5000 baseband, with a price of up to 17500 yuan, which will be officially launched in the middle of this year.
To some surprise,
It is understood that the integrated mobile platform of Qualcomm will make full use of the newly released second generation 5G millimeter wave antenna module and the RF front-end components and modules below 6 GHz. Kedar Kondap, vice president of product management at Qualcomm, said in an interview with the media that this means that by adopting the 5G integrated mobile platform initiated by Qualcomm, customers can focus more on product development beyond 5G, reduce the difficulty of developing 5G products and accelerate the listing of 5G products.
Qualcomm's integrated Miaolong 5G mobile platform is scheduled to be launched to customers in the second quarter of 2019. Commercial terminals are expected to be on the market in the first half of 2020. On the one hand, the deployment and scale of operators'5G network will be commercial by 2020. In addition, 5G mobile phones need to solve the problems of heat dissipation and power consumption. Therefore,Qualcomm's third-generation 5G solutions and more integrated 5G baseband releases are the key to the launch of a large number of 5G mobile phones and terminals.
At the same time, Qualcomm officially launched its first 5G CPE reference design on MWC 2019. The commercial 5G fixed wireless terminal based on MWC X55 modem is expected to be launched in the first half of 2020.
It is also worth mentioning that,Ziguang Zhanrui also released the 5G communication technology platform Macaru and its first 5G baseband chip, Ivy 510, during MWC 2019.It is reported that Ivy 510 meets the latest standard of 3GPP R15, supports Sub-6GHz bandwidth and 100MHz bandwidth, adopts TSMC 12NM process technology, supports many 5G key technologies, realizes multiple communication modes, and supports SA and NSA networking modes.
In 2019, 5G ushered in pre-commercial use. Twenty provinces and municipalities in China are experimenting with 5G network. Under the background of fierce competition in mobile phone market, mobile phone manufacturers hope to borrow 5G to promote mobile phone sales. However, to launch 5G mobile phones, baseband processors are crucial, and we need to look forward to integrated 5G baseband solutions.
From the MWC booth in 2019, we can also get a glimpse of the progress of 5G baseband chips. Qualcomm has announced its third generation 5G baseband products, and 5G mobile phones based on its X50 have also appeared on the exhibition platform, and not simply show the speed of 5G, but combined with cloud games.videoWait to show the possibility of 5G technology.
Huawei also launched the second generation 5G baseband chip, and released the 5G folding screen mobile phone MateX. Because MateX is placed in the glass window, we can not feel the charm of Huawei 5G mobile phone, but the exhibition stand also shows the CPE based on the Baron 5000 chip. Previously, Ren Zhengfei, president of Huawei, showed his confidence in Huawei's leading technology in the 5G market in an interview with CCTV. Therefore, we are looking forward to Huawei's great success in the 5G market.
As for the first-generation products that have just been released, MediaTek, Intel, Samsung and Purple Light have developed sharply, the progress of MediaTek seems to be faster. On the MWC booth in 2019, MediaTek not only demonstrated the characteristics of its Helio M70 baseband, but also announced the latest developments with partners. The 5G mobile phone with Helio M70 will be launched in 2020.In the second half of this year, the United Development Section will release a new 5G SoC platform with M70 baseband.
Intel did not exhibit its 5G baseband chip in MWC 2019. Combining with the background of 5G pre-commerce, Intel highlighted the direction of 5G application. It demonstrated VR games, intelligent industry, retail deployment, and 5G base station.The serverProgress in such areas.
Ziguang Zhanrui's release of its first 5G baseband chip also shows us the strength of another Chinese company in 5G.
At the end of the article, quoting Huang Zhang, founder of Meizu Science and Technology, who judged 5G mobile phones, he said: "The first generation of 5G products can be said to be test machines, the second generation is the improved version of test machines, at least the third generation is the fresh version for ordinary users, whether it can mature and enter the market in large quantities is not necessarily. Ordinary users need not be too anxious, there is no need to buy a 5G semi-finished products, increase unnecessary burdens.