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Samsung claims first 3GPP-compliant 5G modem

Korean electronics giant Samsung reckons it has edged ahead of Qualcomm in the 5G modem race.

The Exynos Modem 5100 claims to be ‘the industry’s first 5G modem that is fully compatible with 3GPP Release 15’. Qualcomm announced its X50 5G modem some time ago and seemed to have an early monopoly on 5G chips. But with Apple apparently making it clear it won’t be using Qualcomm 5G chips there is a stronger incentive than ever for its competitors to catch up.

“Samsung’s leadership in communication technologies and market-proven knowledge allowed us to develop the industry’s first 5G modem, the Exynos Modem 5100, which fully complies with the latest 3GPP standards,” said Dr. Inyup Kang, president and head of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics. “As the industry prepares the shift toward 5G, Samsung will continue to drive the growth of innovative ideas and new services in mobile applications and other emerging industries.”

The chip is manufactured on the 10nm process and Samsung has the advantage of owning its own semiconductor fabs. It supports both mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum as well as all the legacy wireless technologies. Samsung says it has completed some testing, but doesn’t seem to have released the modem into the wild yet.

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