Some Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processor laptops will get 5G modems

Qualcomm Strengthens PC Market Presence through 5G Modems

Qualcomm, renowned for its powerful 5G modems that even Apple has yet to replace, has introduced these components to its partners as discrete elements, instead of integrating them into their computer chips, namely the Snapdragon X. Consequently, selected laptops will now be equipped with 5G connectivity capabilities.

Up to this point, all leading PC providers have unveiled laptops powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite. However, as revealed at Computex 2024, only a select few devices were given these modems. It’s clear that not every manufacturer is willing to purchase and accommodate these modems into the design of their devices. Moreover, with the advent of Snapdragon X, the joint Qualcomm and Microsoft initiative, Always Connected PC (ACPC), has taken a back seat. Presently, the emphasis is on the inclusion of built-in AI accelerators and conformation to Copilot Plus PC.

This shift has been well received by PC manufacturers, as the focus on AI proves to be a more cost-effective approach, negating the need for additional equipment purchases. In addition to the modem, procurement and integration of a 5G compatible radio interface module and antenna are necessary. Support for millimeter wave range also poses challenges as it requires multiple antennas with varying orientations for optimal results. Despite these barriers, the Snapdragon X powered laptops have proven to be Qualcomm’s most competitive venture into the PC market, with high potential of gaining a significant market share, albeit the modem contributing to an increased device price.

Despite these challenges, Qualcomm remains persistent in promoting the inherent advantage of an integrated modem at Computex 2024. In the company’s view, they offer fast global connectivity, independent of Wi-Fi or smartphones, making a dream of wide 5G laptop presence possible, if only delayed for now.

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