Qualcomm’s new chip already supports Wi-Fi 7 because it has absolutely no cold

Like every year, Qualcomm has launched a torrent of product updates that will directly and indirectly affect the components of the Phone(s), tabletslisteners, portable, and connected PCs over the next year. While MWC 2022 may have flashier announcements, Qualcomm may end up having the most impact on the devices you will one day buy.

FastConnect 7800 and Wi-Fi 7 that don’t exist yet

The most notable announcement, at least from the perspective of a casual user, is the introduction of the FastConnect 7800 Platformwhich Qualcomm says is the world’s first connectivity solution with support for Wi-Fi 7 – a standard that may not be finalized until 2024. Unfinished specifications in the hope that early adopters will jump on the opportunity to take advantage of new features, speed increases and underutilized spectrum.

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At the moment, the technical benefits of Wi-Fi 7 consist of doubling the potential maximum channel potential to 320 MHz in the 6 Ghz range, which was introduced with the Wi-Fi 6E extension specification in 2020 (although we can’t forget Wi-Fi 6 Version 2, which builds on Wi-Fi 6 and 6E), as well as a new feature called High Band Simultaneous (HBS) Multi-Link which, with the proper hardware, can operate two separate radios for four connection streams in these high spectrum ranges for maximum theoretical speeds of 5, 8 Gbps and “sub -2 milliseconds of latency,” according to Qualcomm’s press release.


FastConnect 7800 Feature Summary

Source: Qualcomm

Those are big promises and a lot of numbers, but Qualcomm’s chips are finding their way into a lot of high-end devices, which means that in early 2023 when the FastConnect 7800 starts shipping in commercial devices, we’re will hear a lot more. Wi-Fi 7, despite limited use of Wi-Fi 6, let alone Wi-Fi 6E, in mainstream consumer routers. Google’s own Nest Wifi still doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, although that should change with an updated model available later this year.

The FastConnect 7800, which succeeds the 6900 which has been in all major Android flagships since the start of 2021, pushes the burgeoning Bluetooth LE Audio standard into the mainstream (which will also largely be widely supported in Android 13). Along with support for Bluetooth 5.3, a small bump in the spec that improves the speed and efficiency of low-energy connections to devices like smart locks and medical devices, the standard mirrors what’s moves to the Wi-Fi side with something called Intelligent Dual Bluetooth, doubling the bandwidth given to components when the client (the phone, tablet, or laptop) has two separate Bluetooth radios. While that’s unlikely to happen in the average 2023 smartphone even in the flagship category, you can expect Qualcomm to work with a few companies entangled in the increasingly complex Snapdragon Sound certification ecosystem to trying to appease obnoxious audiophiles like me.


Snapdragon Sound and Bluetooth that (hopefully) don’t suck


Qualcomm-S5-and-S3-Sound-Platforms-Overview

Source: Qualcomm

The new FastConnect solution also supports Qualcomm’s two new Snapdragon Sound compatible chips, S3 and S5, the so-called audio platforms that power many best wireless headphones on the market today. Available as turnkey solutions for headphone manufacturers – Audio-Technica, Edifier and Master & Dynamic are the only well-known OEMs in the program at present, with Xiaomi, Honor and Motorola on the device side – the idea is that by purchasing a product with the Snapdragon Sound badge, consumers can be sure that the product supports all of the company’s best technologies, from the new AptX Lossless codec to low latency game modes and instant pairing, high-bandwidth phone calls, stereo recording, and more.


Last year, Qualcomm gave a big show of how quickly companies joined the Snapdragon Sound certification program with a concert by Steve Aoki in New York and highly produced survey touting how important wireless headphones have become to consumers during the pandemic, but without the likes of Samsung, Jabra and Sony on board – all of which use a number of proprietary components that wouldn’t be Snapdragon-certified quality Sound – it’s unclear how universal it will ever be.

Snapdragon Connect and the Badge of Honor


Snapdragon Connect-Horizontal (002)

Source: Qualcomm

However, that didn’t stop the company from unveiling another certification at MWC 2022: Snapdragon Connect. Along the same lines as Snapdragon Sound but focused on Qualcomm’s cellular and Wi-Fi components, Snapdragon Connect certifies phones, computers, gaming handhelds, VR headsets, cars, and wearables that use a combination 5G chips, antennas, amplifiers, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios and other smaller modules.



Screenshot 2022-02-27 at 19:58.37

Source: Qualcomm

For Qualcomm, it’s yet another way to entice hardware makers to “use the whole animal,” for lack of a better analogy, by bundling a number of disparate components into a seal of approval that can sway consumer purchasing decisions. The standard rolls out with support for Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC and newer FastConnect connectivity platforms, as well as the latest two generations of cellular modems, which includes the company’s latest announcement, the System X70 5G Modem-RF (there’s really a lot of new stuff here).

Snapdragon X70 and the meander towards 5G


Hero Image_ Snapdragon X70 5G Modem RF System

Source: Qualcomm

Unlike previous years, the X70 doesn’t feature faster 5G speeds for next-gen phones, but rather a new AI system that “can improve data speeds, coverage, latency, and power efficiency.” 5G for 5G Sub-6 GHz and mmWave devices”. according to the company’s press release. It’s a lot of jargon to say that Qualcomm is taking a year to optimize its 5G solution rather than trying to push theoretical speed increases even further, delivering a more robust combination of sub-side carrier aggregation solutions. 6 and new autonomous millimeter waves. support on the front of the high band. There are plenty of other small improvements too, especially on the uplink side, once the first devices roll out with the X70 in early 2023 – and assuming carriers have caught up with network-side support – you may start to see those download speeds a little more in line with the faster download speeds that 2.5Ghz and C-Band 5G have started offering to T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T customers over the past few months. Plus, it’s built on a 4nm process like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and Qualcomm promises a 60% improvement in power efficiency, which will hopefully help the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 cut a little the heat.


That’s a lot of words to write on a pile of ads that most phone customers won’t even notice, but that’s the point. Qualcomm is seeing increased competition from companies like MediaTek on the bundle side — it’s even encroaching on the US and European markets with its new Dimensity 9000 SoC — and custom silicon games from Google, Oppo, and Apple, which should be discontinued Qualcomm’s modem from the iPhone in a year or two. Qualcomm’s response to this pressure is to sweeten the pot for existing customers by promising them increased customer loyalty through these nascent certification programs.


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