Today Samsung announced its new Exynos Modem 5100 – what it claims to be the industry’s first multi-mode 5G modem.

While over the last few months, and years, we’ve heard a lot of news regarding 5G modems from various vendors, in particular Qualcomm’s new X50 modem – Samsung S.LSI tends to avoid much public PR fanfare until its products are near release. We’ve heard rumours about the new 5G modem being presented earlier this year at MWC but couldn’t get any more details out from Samsung.

Today’s launch differs in the sense that the Exynos Modem 5100 claims to be the first multi-mode modem solution – meaning the new chipset is a full standalone solution supporting the new 5G sub-6GHz and mmWave as well as all existing standards, including 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE. This comes in contrast with Qualcomm's X50 modem which requires the SoC modem to provide the legacy connectivity option in order to provide platform multi-mode functionality. Where Samsung would have a definite advantage is integration into products that don't implement any connectivity in the first place.

In terms of specifications, the new modem supports 8x carrier aggregation in both 5G NR as well as LTE – it promises to achieve LTE category 19 download speeds of up to 1.6Gbps, 5G sub-6GHz speeds of up to 2Gbps and 5G mmWave speeds of up to 6Gbps. For 5G NR this means we’re working with 8x 100MHz channels summing up to 800MHz of bandwidth, versus 8x 20MHz / 160MHz for LTE radios.

Uplink bandwidth is implemented with up to 2x carrier aggregation in 5G NR and LTE. For both downlink and uplink, the mmWave connectivity is implemented with 64-QAM versus 256-QAM for the sub-6GHz bands.

The new modem comes with accompanying RF IC / radio front-ends, envelope tracker and power management ICs. Samsung implements the Exynos Modem 5100 on a 10LPP manufacturing node – while this might come at a disadvantage to eventual 7nm parts from the competition, Samsung promises commercial availability by the end of 2018, giving Samsung seemingly a lead in terms of time to market if everything pans out as claimed.

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Source: Samsung Press Release

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  • iwod - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    Die Size Numbers ?

    I guess a small improvement of this modem could be done on Samsung 8nm node. ( Which is an improved version of 10nm )

    Full Compliant with Rel.15, True MultiMode, first NR with both Sub 6Ghz and mmWave. And commercial availability by the end of 2018? We know Samsung is working on to catch up Qualcomm in the modem front, but not only have they got close, they have now exceed Qaulcomm in modem. At least on paper.

    And Samsung would love Apple to use this. For lots of reasons, Building Fab isn't the most expensive part, having them not filled up is worst. Samsung needs something of consistent volume to fill those space.
  • SamitBasu - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    "they have now exceed Qaulcomm in modem. At least on paper."

    Samsung has been exceeding Qualcomm on modem front since 2016. This has been especially evident in Korea, where the Exynos powered Samsung flagship models were always 20~30% faster than Snapdragon powered LG flagship models in real world benchmarks. iPhones run at 1/3rd to 1/4th the data speed of Galaxys in Korea.
  • serendip - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    Modems are nice but what about antennas? I would love to see the antenna arrays needed to support everything from 2G all the way to mmWave 5G.
  • Teckk - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    So is Apple all in with Intel on the modem? Seems to be good competition between Qualcomm and Samsung in 5G, though Samsung has a more complete single unit implementation for 1st gen apparently.
  • SamitBasu - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    This is not a 1st gen product. Samsung's 1st gen 5G modem was produced in 2017, just not announced. This is Samsung's 2nd gen 5G modem and first to be announced. The X50 is indeed a 1st gen product; Qualcomm announced it when its physical silicon didn't exist.
  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    In my experience, Samsung modems are not as good as Qualcomm when it comes to coverage, speed and mainly voice call quality. Maybe this has changed with newer versions, though.
  • SamitBasu - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    Actually you got it backward. Samsung's contemporary modem is always faster than Qualcomm's. This has been the case since late 2016.

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