Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 5G Modem to Power IoT Devices
by Michael Diamond | February 10, 2023

The News: Qualcomm recently announced its Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System, the world’s first 5G NR-Light model-RF system designed to address the needs of lower-end IoT devices. See the Qualcomm Press Release for more information.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 5G Modem to Power IoT Devices

Analyst Take: Without a doubt, the premise of 5G internet connected devices in the consumer and business-to-business markets is exciting due to the promise of enhanced services, customer entanglement, contributions to research and development, innovation and much more. In a nutshell, consumers and organizations alike want devices that provide excellent connectivity, better security features, and lower cost, along with being in a much smaller form factor. In addition, many IoT devices such as smartwatches, do not have the need for the robust speed of 5G.

To address these challenges, Qualcomm recently launched its Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System. According to the company, the Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF system can achieve upload speeds of 100Mbps while download speeds can reach 220Mbps, slightly faster than LTE 4G networks. The company also claims the Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System is the world’s first NR-light connectivity platform.

Fundamentally, NR-light, which is a new class of 5G, has the ability to fill a void between high-speed mobile broadband devices along with very low-bandwidth narrowband-IOT devices. In other words, it will help scale 5G to the right level to support a much broader range of IoT devices. As an example, many wearables (e.g., smartwatch) will not need all the maximum bandwidth like a device in a smart factory.

In essence, key targets for the Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF system will be devices that are more entry-level in nature, and which will most likely not need multi-gigabit speeds with a lower cost envelope. I see this chipset as being ideal for wearables such as smartwatches, surveillance cameras, and health monitors just to name a few. Although there is a plethora of use cases out there to take advantage of the Snapdragon X35 Modem-RF system, on the B2B front, it makes sense that initial key vertical markets will be healthcare, retail, agriculture, and mining, for starters.

Wrapping it up, I see the Qualcomm Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF system as an ideal solution to help vendors create products that can reach a broader range of IoT devices that are much more cost efficient, smaller, and consume less power, along with the ability to scale to the more optimal levels of 5G connectivity.

Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform Will Drive Innovation in the Extended Reality Market

Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs to Power Volkswagen’s CARIAD Software Platform to Provide In-Vehicle Assisted and Automated Driving Functions Up to Level 4 by the Mid-2020s

Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022 Recap

Image Credit: TrendRadars

About the Author

Michael Diamond is an industry analyst and foresight professional with 25 years of experience in the IT channel and market research industry. He is a route-to-market expert covering desktop and mobile devices, collaboration, contact center, ProAV, data center infrastructure, and cybersecurity. Prior to joining Futurum Research, Michael worked for The NPD Group as the sole industry analyst covering indirect channels, cybersecurity, SMB and vertical market trends, data center infrastructure (e.g., enterprise storage, servers, networking), ProAV and PCs. He has been quoted by media outlets such as Bloomberg, Kiplinger, TWICE, OPI (Office Products International), Apple World today, Dark Reading, Enterprise Storage Forum, Credit-Suisse, Footwear News, CRN (Computer Reseller News), Channel Futures and Into Tomorrow.  Michael has presented at myriad events including The Channel Company’s Xchange, The Global Technology Distribution Council’s summit, SMB TechFest and more.