Samsung will not be left out in the race to utilize 5G modem chips and a 5G smartphone. The South Korean tech firm has a June 2018 target for producing its 5G modem chip prototype and a 2021 target date for a Samsung Exynos 5G smartphone.
In a bid to decrease reliance on U.S. providers of 5G telecommunication modem chips, Samsung joined Qualcomm and Intel in taking over the 5G market. Samsung revealed its intentions during the 2018 CES after the company’s System LSI Business Department held a private exhibit in Las Vegas. In a private viewing held during 2018 CES, Samsung reportedly unveiled its Exynos 5G chip at Encore Hotel.
As reported by Business Korea, Samsung plans to ship out prototypes to the company’s Wireless Business Division in the second half of 2018. The company will also partner with mobile carriers to test their 5G chip. To support its entry in the 5G market, Samsung plans to roll out commercial chip models by 2018. As for a mobile device to feature these chips, industry experts forecast that the Exynos 5G modem chips will be used in smartphones released in 2019.
“Samsung Electronics will tap into the 5G smartphone market in the second half of 2021 or 2022 by actively participating in Release 16, the complete 5G standard.”
The Exynos 5G chip will support backward compatibility namely 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G. Compared to the current LTE modem chips with a download speed of about 1.2 Gbps, 5G is five times faster. The current LTE speed is about 500 Mbps, and 5G promises to be 10 times faster than that with a theoretical download speed of 5Gbps. Aside from speed, Exynos 5G modem chips will support millimeter waves like 39 GHz and 28 GHz, and low-frequency bands under 6 GHz.
As for Samsung’s competitors in the 5G market, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 and Intel’s XMM8060 were both released in 2017. With the current progress in Samsung, the South Korean tech firm proves to be a huge threat to Intel and Qualcomm. As for the first set of mobile phones to feature these 5G modem chips, Qualcomm might be the first to launch 5G phones by early 2019 and Intel might follow suit by mid-2019.
Given the company’s current timeline for manufacturing its 5G modem chips, a Samsung 5G Exynos phone might be further along the pipeline. Prior reports revealed Samsung also had a private viewing to showcase the prototype of their foldable phone during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas.