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Snapdragon 820 Modem details released


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The new X12 LTE modem supports the following:


3 carrier downlink aggregation (CAT12 600Mbps)

2 carrier uplink aggregation (CAT13 150Mbps)

Up to 256QAM modulation on downlink

4x4MIMO for a single downlink carrier



LWA (LTE-WiFi aggregation)

802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO



It also has built it handling of WiFi and LTE connections to automatically pick the best connection based on current network conditions.

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Yep, Qualcomm has revamped its baseband modem page, adding the Snapdragon X12 LTE and reversing the order from right to left.




Now, before everyone gets giddy about the Snapdragon 820 with 3x CA, the Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 already support 3x CA.  But they require multiple RF transceivers to implement anything beyond 2x CA.  That is why basically all of the current handsets utilizing those chipsets are 2x CA.


Unless Qualcomm also has unveiled a next generation RF transceiver or the Snapdragon 820 incorporates it, the situation will not change.  Most/all handsets will stick to 2x CA.  And uplink CA is a real question mark, since that will suck additional handset battery power.



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I also hope the energy efficiency is far better on this set of Snapdragons. This year, it seemed like Samsung won the war for best Android power with the Exynos 7420. It killed the 810 on efficiency and total power. Hopefully the 820 is far more competitive.


The modem enhancements, which will include 3x CA from the looks of it, will aid even the next generation of devices from Sprint and Verizon, though I could also see T-Mobile joining in on the MDM9645 party if Samsung can't support LAA, leaving AT&T alone to support the Shannon RF competitor to Qualcomm.

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