Samsung on Wednesday announced the Exynos Modem 5100, the world's first 5G modem for smartphones that's fully compliant with the next-generation connectivity standards defined by the 3GPP. The module can deliver download speeds of up to 2Gbps when connected to sub-6GHz 5G solutions and up to 6Gbps in conjunction with millimeter-wave networks. Compared to Samsung's previous flagship modem for (Android) smartphones, the Exynos 5100 offers data transfer rates that are up to five times higher.
The company's newest product has been envisioned as working with both standalone and non-standalone 5G networks, meaning it also ships with 4G LTE support and pushes the envelope in the context of the older wireless technology as well, offering downlink speeds of up to 1.6Gbps. For added context, the latest networking solutions used by the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 can reach maximum download speeds of 1.2Gbps. Legacy network support is also part of the package, with the Exynos 5100 being compatible with everything from CDMA and GSM 2G solutions to 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, and HSPA. While few markets have a real demand for chips that support all of those technologies, Samsung is hoping it will deliver a better-supported and longer-lasting product by bundling all of its wireless advancements and capabilities into a single piece of silicon instead of investing resources into building region-specific modems.
Samsung's manufacturer clients will have the Exynos 5100 available to them by the end of the year. The same modem is also likely to be used by the Exynos 9820 system-on-chip expected to power select variants of the Galaxy S10 series, though Samsung already confirmed the Android flagship lineup in question won't be its first mobile family to deliver 5G support. The South Korean tech giant also believes the mass production of the Exynos 5100 will accelerate 5G R&D, as well as testing, having revealed some of its previous wireless experiments already relied on devices using early prototypes of the chip.