Qualcomm Inc. has a new 5G modem chip for smartphones

Qualcomm has a new modem for next year’s 5G phones that aims to boost the average speed on devices by aggregating different types of wireless signals. 

The company on Tuesday unveiled its Snapdragon X60 5G modem, which is made using process technology of 5 nanometers, or 5 billionths of a meter. That results in lower power consumption and a smaller footprint for even sleeker devices. Like its predecessor, the X55, the X60 will run on everything from 2G to 5G networks, and it will access the slower but more reliable sub-6 Ghz networks and the faster but spottier millimeter wave networks.

What the X60 doesn’t bring is much higher peak speeds. With the upcoming modem, you’ll be able to download data over 5G networks at up to 7.5 Gbps and upload information as fast as 3 Gbps. The earlier X55 modem’s download speed topped out at 7 Gbps, while its upload speed also was 3 Gbps.

You will, however, see faster average speeds, Qualcomm said. The X60 has the ability to aggregate the slower sub-6 networks with the faster mmwave spectrum, boosting overall performance.

The X60 also increases network capacity and expands coverage. Networks operators will be able to double sub-6 peak speeds in standalone mode (that’s where the phone goes straight to 5G instead of today’s non-standalone networks, where 4G works as the anchor to make the initial handshake between a phone and a network before passing the device along to a 5G connection).