Although this year’s MWC communications conference was canceled, the tech giants’ 5G chips are still at the same pace, opting for an online launch. 5G in 2020 is of great concern because it is widely seen in the industry as a key time point for building a larger scale and the rise of the 5G market. Now under the epidemic, the 5G chip market is not reduced, in the past two weeks, new products.
On February 26, UNISOC released its next-generation 5G SoC chip, the Tiger T7520, and on the same day Qualcomm released the SnapDragon XR2 platform and 8cx 5G chipset. On February 18, Qualcomm also released the third-generation 5G modem and rf system SnapDragonX60.
“In terms of 5G SoC performance, it can be divided into several levels: the CPU’s own processing performance for the application, AI computation, and the download speed of the built-in 5G Modem, which will be the focus of the major factories,” said Yao Jiayang, an analyst at Jibang Consulting, to 21st Century Economic Report. Broadly speaking, comparing 5G SoC sits with 4G SoC, all three of these sectors have improved significantly, and in 2020, the major plants will in principle be reinforced with the performance of these three. “
While the performance improvement, the company has also accelerated the commercial speed of 5G chips, Qualcomm, Huawei, UNISOC, Samsung, MediaTek 5G chips have been commercially available on mobile phones.
A new round of 5G chip competition
At present, the companies that have launched the mobile phone 5G baseband chip are Huawei, Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek and UNISOC. In addition to Qualcomm, four other companies have introduced 5G SoC chips that integrate baseband chips.
Among them, 5G baseband chips include Qualcomm’s SnapDragonX50, SnapDragonX55, the latest X60; Huawei’s Balong5G01, Balong 5000; UNISOC’s Ito V510; MediaTek’s Helio M70, Exynos Modem 5100, etc.
The 5G SoC chips that have been released are huawei Kirin 990; Samsung Exynos 980, Exynos 990; MediaTek Dimensity 1000, Tianyi 800; UNISOC Tiger T7520, T7510.
The latest products to enter are Qualcomm’s X60 and UNISOC’s Tiger T7520.
UNISOC said that the Tiger T7520 is the second generation of UNISOC 5G smartphone platform, using 6nm EUV process, performance improvement at the same time, power consumption to a new low. At the same time, the Tiger T7520 supports full scene coverage, 5G NR TDD-FDD carrier aggregation, and up-down decoupling technology to improve coverage by more than 100%. Support for the Sub-6GHz band and NSA/SA dual-mode network, as well as 2G to 5G seven-mode full-net communication, in SA mode, the downlink peak rate exceeds 3.25Gbps.
Yao Jiayang to reporters analysis: “Because this processor uses TSMC’s 6nm EUV process, is currently the industry’s first to determine the use of this process 5G SoC, at least can determine unISOC in the advanced process, has been able to catch up with Qualcomm and Huawei and other large factories.” However, in view of the current Huawei and Qualcomm’s next product planning, should be 5nm EUV-based, so although UNISOC has caught up with Qualcomm and other large factories, but to side with it, it may take a little time. “
He also said that from the CPU and GPU configuration and 6nm EUV and other specifications, UNISOC’s strategy should first lock the mid-range and low-end market, coupled with 5G Modem specifications still do not support mmWave, overall, t7520 should be locked in China’s mid-range 5G mobile phone market.
Looking at Qualcomm’s SnapDragonX60, the SnapDragonX60 is the world’s first 5nm process and the world’s first 5G baseband to support the aggregation of all major channels and their combinations, including millimeter waves and FDD and TDD bands below 6GHz. In terms of speed, the SnapDragonX60 enables download speeds of up to 7.5Gbps and upload speeds of up to 3Gbps. Carrier aggregation in the 6GHz band below 6GHz in stand-alone network mode can double the peak rate of 5G independent networks compared to solutions that do not support carrier aggregation.
Qualcomm said it plans to launch the SnapDragon X60 in the first quarter of 2020, while smartphones with snapDragon X60 are expected to launch in early 2021.
And this year Qualcomm in the mobile phone commercial or X55 with the baseband chip-based, Yao Jiayang told reporters: “To the development of the 5G mobile phone market in 2020, there is a processor and 5G Modem matching, as well as 5G SoC (integrated 5G Modem) these two, 865-x55 is just one of the combination, like 765/765G will also be Qualcomm’s main 5G products this year. Compared to the X55, the X60 is strictly not a specification upgrade, which is roughly an upgrade on the process, as well as the introduction of the mmWave and sub-6GHz carrier aggregation technology. “
On the one hand, 5G chip technology in the update, Yao Jiayang told reporters: “In the long run, 5G chip will still move towards the integrated route of development, the way of external hanging is currently the transitional approach.” We believe that the development of 5G SoC, we will continue to follow in Qualcomm’s footsteps, trying to integrate the capabilities of mmWave into the 5G SoC, while using more advanced processes. If technology evolves, the 5G SoC, which integrates 5G Modem, should be mainstream by 2021. “
At the same time, manufacturers in the launch also more mention of the commercial situation and user experience, these chips are also gradually moving towards mobile phones, CPEs, PCs and AR/VR commercial.
Mobile phones are the most widely used terminal, so far mobile phone manufacturers have launched a total of more than a dozen 5G mobile phones, UNISOC also announced for the first time that its 5G chip will be installed in the Hisense F50 mobile phone, and Qualcomm in the Android world is the most widely used.
Global 5G smartphone shipments will reach 199 million by 2020, according to a new study by Strategy Analytics. But the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak and the global economic slowdown will limit sales of 5G smartphones this year.
Ken Hyers, Director of Strategy Analytics, said: “Global 5G smartphone shipments will more than triple from 19 million units in 2019 to 199 million units in 2020. The 5G segment will be the fastest growing segment of the global smartphone industry this year. Consumers want faster 5G smartphones to experience richer content, such as videos or games. We forecast 5G penetration to increase from 1% of all smartphone shipments worldwide in 2019 to 15% by 2020. “
Neil Mawston, Executive Director of Strategy Analytics, added: “The 5G smartphone market is much weaker than expected in the first half of 2020, but we expect a strong rebound in the 5G smartphone market in the second half of the year if the outbreak is brought under control. “
In addition to mobile phones, Huawei, Zhangrui and others have launched CPE products, while Qualcomm has also released SnapDragon XR2, the second generation 5G chip platform in VR/AR glasses, and SnapDragon8cx, a 5G chipset on the ARM PC side.
Yao Jiayang to reporters analysis: “XR2 in Qualcomm’s positioning belongs to the high-level products, the same 8cx in the 5G PC field is also a high-level products, we believe that the current development of the 5G market is still in the embryonic stage, even if it can be commercial, but the overall number is relatively limited.” We believe that vr/AR and 5G PC market maturity, conservative estimatemay may wait until 2021, the consumer market gradually accept 5G can bring convenience, there is a chance to slowly become popular. “
As the chip becomes more and more mature, who can finally reduce power consumption, reduce costs, successful lying commercial, become the first echelon, but also the focus of attention in the 5G mobile era.