Second source guarantees phones in 2018, but probably very few. Qualcomm's similar X50 chip is in the hands of testers, as is Qualcomm's remarkably small complete radio frequency front end. Samsung's new Exynos 5100 does 3.5 GHz and millimeter wave, with the expected bells and whistles. (pr below)

The surprise in this announcement is a complete chipset, including "radio frequency IC (RFIC), Envelope Tracking (ET) and power management IC (PMIC) solutions," I've asked for more details. They promise chips in 2018, but don't specify when volume shipments will begin. The rumors in the industry range from early to late 2019.

That and the processor provides almost all the chips needed for a full 5G phone. I'm sure they have a complete reference design that will enable all the phonemakers to deliver next year.

More as details become available. 

Samsung Announces Exynos Modem 5100, Industry’s First 5G Modem Fully Compliant with 3GPP Standards

Korea on August 15, 2018
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Exynos Modem 5100 to accelerate 5G commercialization with successful over-the-air 5G-NR data call 

The new single-chip modem supports multi-mode communication, ensuring high efficiency in data transmission

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that it has developed Exynos Modem 5100, the industry’s first 5G modem that is fully compatible with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15 (Rel.15), the most up-to-date standard specification for 5G New Radio (5G-NR). Built on power-efficient 10-nanometer (nm) process technology, the new modem also supports legacy radio access technologies designed into a single chip.

“Samsung’s leadership in communication technologies and market-proven knowledge allowed us to develop the industry’s first 5G modem, the Exynos Modem 5100, which fully complies with the latest 3GPP standards,” said Dr. Inyup Kang, president and head of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics. “As the industry prepares the shift toward 5G, Samsung will continue to drive the growth of innovative ideas and new services in mobile applications and other emerging industries.”

Samsung successfully conducted an over-the-air (OTA) 5G-NR data call test under a wireless environment utilizing a 5G base station and 5G end-user equipment prototype embedded with Exynos Modem 5100. As the test simulated real-world cellular network conditions, this will ensure faster development and commercialization of 5G mobile devices that adopt this new modem. Samsung is also working closely with a number of global mobile carriers and partners to quickly bring 5G mobile communications to the market.

The Exynos Modem 5100 supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums specified in 3GPP’s 5G standard as well as legacy networks, including 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE, with a single chip solution. As 5G is expected to be first deployed over existing network infrastructures, commercial implementation will benefit from the single-chip design that maximizes data transmission efficiency and reliability between other communication networks.

The modem delivers a maximum downlink speed of up to 2-gigabits per second (Gbps) in 5G’s sub-6-gigahertz (GHz) settings and 6Gbps in mmWave settings, which are about 1.7 and five times the data transfer speeds of its predecessor respectively. Fast and stable data communication can also be secured in 4G networks with the downlink speed of 1.6Gbps.

5G’s capability to transmit large-capacity data and real-time low-latency communication is expected to bring new user experiences not only in mobile but also in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), ultra-high resolution videos, holograms, real-time artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving.

Exynos Modem 5100 is also offered with radio frequency IC (RFIC), Envelope Tracking (ET) and power management IC (PMIC) solutions, and will be available to customers by the end of 2018.
More information about Samsung’s Exynos products can be found at: http://www.samsung.com/exynos.

dave askOn Oct 1, Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network. It will soon offer a gigabit or close to 30M homes. Thousands of sites are live in Korea; AT&T is going live with mobile, even lacking phones. The hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 4X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.

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5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.