5G is still a few years away for most of us, but networks and tech companies are laying the groundwork for it right now. One year ago, Qualcomm announced it was developing its first 5G-capable mobile modem, the X50. If you're not familiar with mobile SoCs, the modem is the component of a phone that connects to a cellular network. Qualcomm promised speeds of up to 5Gbps, with an expected ship date of 2018. Read More
Cell phones need modems. They're pretty important if your plans include making calls and accessing data. Like processors and GPUs, most phone manufacturers don't make their own wireless modems or radios, instead incorporating pre-existing designs into their phones. Sony might soon be able to roll its own wireless components: the Japanese electronics giant has announced that it has finalized plans to buy Altair Semiconductor, a designer of LTE modems based in Israel, for $212 million USD.
The acquisition will allow Sony to produce its own LTE hardware, and possibly sell it to competitors, as is already the case with Sony's widely-used camera modules. Read More
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays. Finally, lagging behind in truly characteristic fashion, AT&T has begun to roll out its own HSPA+ network, with plans to offer LTE in the second half of the year. Read More