Everything indicates that we know the winner of the 5G race among chipset manufacturers. Samsung has just announced that it has finished working on the Exynos 5100 modem, which is to be the world’s first wireless module that supports all technologies. Exynos 5100 is compatible with the latest 3GPP 5G NR standard (sub-6 GHz and mmWave), 4G LTE, 3G and 2G. The new modem will be made available to Samsung customers at the end of this year.
Many people wonder when the next generation of cellular networks will become an everyday reality for us. However, to make this possible, first the operators must expand their base stations with 5G modules (or update their software). On the other hand, upgrading the LTE network to 5G is a considerable investment, which will pay only when users will have new technology devices. That’s why the manufacturers of mobile chipsets (i.e. Samsung, Qualcomm and Intel) have started the race. At the beginning, each of them believed that he would be the first. Intel has done quite a few successful 5G technology tests. Qualcomm, on the other hand, is working intensively on the Snapdragon X50 modem, which will be available in the Motorola 5G Moto Mod module for the Moto Z3 smartphone next year. However, it is Samsung that will show the world the first 5G modem that is fully compatible with the 3GPP Release 15 NR standard.
The 5G Samsung Exynos 5100 modem also supports older wireless technologies
What are the possibilities of the new modem? Let’s start with the speed declared by Samsung. Exynos 5100 allows you to download data up to 2 Gbbps in the sub-6 GHz band (i.e., for frequencies in the range 3.4 – 3.8 GHz) and 6 Gbps in the mmWave band (e.g. 28 GHz). However, LTE-Advanced networks will allow to achieve 1.6 Gbps. In addition, Exynos 5100 allows you to connect to 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and HSPA networks. As a result, smartphone manufacturers will not have to buy a separate modem that would be needed to support 5G. It’s good that Samsung immediately thought about the implementation of solutions for older technology.
The Exynos 5100 modem will be sold by Samsung together with the systems that are necessary for its trouble-free operation. Koreans have prepared dedicated radio systems (RFIC), power amplifiers that select the power supply voltage depending on the power of the transmitted signal (ET type – Envelope Tracking) and the energy management system (PMIC). Samsung will start selling new systems at the end of this year. I wonder if the Exynos 5100 modem will be used only in Samsung smartphones, or maybe other smartphone manufacturers will decide to buy it.