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Qualcomm announces Gigabit-class LTE for next-gen connected vehicles; Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem

At CES 2017, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced a new variant of its connected car reference platform using the flagship Gigabit Class Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to help car manufacturers deliver the high-speed, high-quality and reliable connectivity required for advanced telematics and connected vehicle services—supporting peak download speeds up to 1 Gbps.

Building on the Company’s leadership supplying 3G/4G LTE modems for automotive, the reference platform is designed to allow carmakers quickly and easily to integrate the broad range of additional wireless and networking technologies required in today’s vehicles, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), with optional support for DSRC and Cellular-V2X. The platform also includes a module reference design for the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to help automotive suppliers accelerate development and improve time-to-commercialization.

Highlights of the new connected car reference platform include:

  • Gigabit Class LTE cloud connectivity: The Snapdragon X16 LTE modem supports Gigabit-class download speeds, up to 10x as fast as first generation 4G LTE devices. The modem is designed to employ sophisticated digital signal processing to pack more bits per transmission with 256-QAM, receives data on four antennas through 4x4 MIMO, and supports for up to 4x Carrier Aggregation. All of this comes together to support peak download speeds up to 1 Gbps, helping satisfy the connectivity needs and use cases of the next generation of connected vehicles including high-definition map updates, connected navigation with real-time traffic and road condition information, software upgrades, Wi-Fi hotspot and multimedia streaming.

  • In-car networking and satellite navigation: The connected car reference platform also integrates Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2, sensor support for stolen vehicle tracking and recovery, quad-constellation GNSS and 3D Dead Reckoning (DR) location solutions, with optional support for vehicle-to-everything communications using DSRC/802.11p or Cellular-V2X. The solution is designed to manage concurrent operation of multiple wireless technologies using the same spectrum frequencies. In addition, the reference platform features in-vehicle networking technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet with Automotive Audio Bus (A2B), Controller Area Network (CAN) and Local Interconnect Network (LIN) interfaces.

  • OEM and third-party applications support: Qualcomm Technologies also provides a security-rich framework for the execution of custom OEM and third-party telematics applications. The simplified access to tightly-integrated apps processing functionality is designed to help automakers and service providers handle the increasing number of use cases requiring connectivity—simultaneously in many cases—and quickly prototype, develop and deliver unique and differentiated experiences to their customers.

Qualcomm Technologies has also developed a reference hardware module in two different band configurations, North America and Rest of World (including Europe). The module design is engineered to support up to four antennas to utilize the 4x4 MIMO capabilities of the Snapdragon X16 modem and reach the peak download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. This can help accelerate the time-to-commercialization of this flagship device and the Company is working with module manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers to further optimize 2-antenna and 4-antenna configurations aiming to meet cost-effectiveness and size requirements of specific automakers, specific segments and use cases.

Connected cars are becoming intelligent sensors on the road, not only using data for consumer use cases such as Wi-Fi hotspots and video streaming, but also collecting and transmitting critical, rich real-time information about road conditions, map updates and driver status. As a leader in car connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies is well positioned to address the tremendous data demand, helping automakers integrate the broad set of technologies required by a new generation of connected vehicles.

—Patrick Little, senior vice president and general manager, automotive, Qualcomm Technologies

The new connected car reference platform using Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, including its corresponding reference module, is expected to be available in the first half of 2017.


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