Samsung is planning to debut a 5G modem for mobile chips meant to be integrated into one of its upcoming Exynos platforms for the company's Android smartphones by the end of the year, BusinessKorea reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The modem may be part of the next flagship system-on-chip from Samsung's foundry unit that will power the Galaxy S10 lineup and the Galaxy Note 10 phablet in 2019. Sources claim the creation was already presented to Samsung's major partners during last week's Consumer Electronics Show, having supposedly been privately showcased at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The chip was unveiled as the Exynos 5G but that may only be a tentative name, according to the same report.
Besides being compatible with the fifth generation of mobile networks whose first standard was fully defined just last month and hence allow the OEM to offer a new level of connectivity support to its customers, the modem is also meant to allow Samsung to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm as far as mobile telecommunications solutions are concerned. The Exynos 5G was developed by Samsung's System LSI Business Department and its prototypes are expected to be made available to the company's wireless division in the second half of the year. The chip is likely to be used for testing Samsung's 5G equipment that's recently been ordered by Verizon. It's currently unclear since when has the South Korean tech giant been developing the exact configuration of the Exynos 5G but the modem is said to be entirely compliant with the Release 15 NSA 5G NR specification announced last month that's scheduled to be completed in June.
Both high-frequency mmWave bands and those below 6GHz are said to be supported by the Exynos 5G, with its backward compatibility reportedly going as far as 2G. Its carrier aggregation solution can allow for peak download speeds of 5Gbps, according to the same report. The Exynos 5G or a refined version of the thereof should be commercialized within Samsung's smartphones in early 2019, insiders claim, adding that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 or however the Snapdragon 845 successor ends up being called should also feature an entirely 5G-ready chip. Intel is expected to commercialize its own 5G-enabled XMM8060 modem in mid-2019, while Samsung should share first official details on its upcoming 5G modem in the second half of the year.