Date
28 May 2017
Chief executive Steven Mollenkopf (above) and other senior officials are expected to  announce details of the new technology and a strategy to counter slowing smartphone sales. Photo:  Bloomberg
Chief executive Steven Mollenkopf (above) and other senior officials are expected to announce details of the new technology and a strategy to counter slowing smartphone sales. Photo: Bloomberg

Qualcomm unveils first gigabit cellular chip

A cellular chip that can transmit one billion bits of data a second is ready to bring mobile users speeds comparable to the most advanced wired services.

Qualcomm Inc. flagged its forthcoming Snapdragon X16 modem chip that lets smartphones or other mobile devices download data at up to 1 gigabit per second, up from its prior top download speed of 600 megabits a second, and upload 150 megabits per second.

Qualcomm, the biggest maker of processors and modem chips for mobile phones, announced the technology ahead of a meeting with analysts in its hometown of San Diego, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Senior executives are expected to discuss strategies to boost the company’s growth amid a slowdown in smartphone sales and other recent headwinds.

The new modem technology extends a series of speed increases in the fourth-generation technology called LTE over the past decade.

Delivering speed advances takes substantial time and money, including spending on upgraded transmission equipment and new user handsets.

Only one carrier, Telstra Corp. in Australia, offers download speeds of up to 600 megabits per second, Qualcomm said.

Most cellular carriers deliver far lower speeds.

Tests in 2015 by PC Magazine found most US carriers have maximum download speeds of less than 100 megabits per second.

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