In 2023, iPhones might include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X70 5G modem


New 5G-capable Snapdragon X70 5G modem revealed by Qualcomm, which is expected to be the final Qualcomm modem that Apple will utilise before it transitions to in-house, custom-made processors.

To boost download and uplink speeds on mmWave and sub-6GHz bands, Qualcomm claims its newest 5G modem for smartphones has “the world’s first 5G AI processor integrated in a 5G Modem-RF System.” According to a news release from the company:

The Snapdragon X70 builds on its predecessor’s unequalled 10 Gigabit 5G peak download performance and adds new, advanced features like as Qualcomm’s 5G AI Suite, 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite, and 4X carrier aggregation to deliver the fastest 5G speeds, coverage, signal quality, and low latency to date. With the Snapdragon X70 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite, OEMs and operators can provide ultra-responsive 5G user experiences and apps by reducing latency.


In addition to extending Qualcomm’s global 5G leadership, the introduction of native 5G AI processing provides a platform and inflection point for performance-enhancing innovations,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, Mobile Broadband, and Infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. It is an example of how we are fulfilling 5G’s full potential and making an intelligently linked world feasible by releasing the Snapdragon X70 processor.

Using 5G PowerSave Gen 3 technology, Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon X70 can attain up to 10Gbps downlink speed and a high 3.5Gbps upload speed, while still using up to 60% less power. Dual-SIM Dual Active and worldwide 5G multi-SIM are also supported by the modem.

The Snapdragon X70 modem is likely to debut in 5G smartphones before the end of the year, but this does not imply that it will appear in the iPhone 14 or any future iPhones at all.


Settlement filings from 2020 indicate that Apple has agreed to utilise X65 and X70 modems in devices introduced between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2024, which suggests that the X65 will be used in the iPhone 14 and the recently disclosed X70 modem would be used in Apple’s 2023 phone series.

Apple may have its own custom-designed 5G modem ready for use in 2023 iPhone models, so it’s not obvious where the X70 fits in. Rather of relying on Qualcomm for X70 processors in all locations, Apple may instead use its own chips in most regions and depend on Qualcomm for X70 chips in some regions (or specific models) in 2023. All future Apple products will use a custom-designed cellular modem after Apple’s partnership with Qualcomm expires.

When Apple bought Intel’s smartphone modem division in the second half of 2019, rumours were circulating that Apple was preparing to construct its own modem. Apple has already lined up its primary chip manufacturing partner TSMC to begin creating the bulk of its new in-house modem chips after acquiring Intel’s modem-related intellectual property and hiring 2,200 Intel personnel. Source


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