CES-2019. Main results
At CES-2019 in Las Vegas, Qualcomm focused on two key areas: subscriber terminals with support for 5G networks and numerous solutions for the automotive market.
Perhaps the most interesting is a demonstration of the C-V2X technology: in Las Vegas, with the support of the city administration and the Nevada State Transportation Committee, the C-V2X demo version was put into trial operation. Currently, one of the modes is implemented, namely V2I, that is, Vehicle-to-Inf-structure - this implies the interaction of vehicles with road infrastructure elements. In particular, we are talking about transmitting information about the sequence of phases of traffic lights to their cars and their duration, and the infrastructure about the data on the number of cars, on the basis of which the phases of traffic lights can adapt to traffic depending on the actual traffic situation.
On-board OBU modules (On-board unit) are installed on cars, and along the roads (at almost 100 city intersections) roadside-mounted RSU (Road-Side Unit) modules manufactured by the Hungarian company Commsignia are installed. Both are based on the Qualcomm 9150 chipset, designed specifically for C-V2X solutions. It uses data transmission in accordance with the 3GPP Release 14 specification - this specification adopted in 2016 allows the use of LTE networks for V2X and other Mission Critical services with low latency. In particular, it supports direct connection between devices, without using networks of cellular operators in a dedicated 5.9 GHz band. Compared to the 802.11p protocol, which operates in the same range and is essentially a kind of Wi-Fi, the C-V2X provides twice the range, as well as increased reliability and increased data transfer rate. In addition, C-V2X is the only technology that allows you to switch to 5G in the future with ensuring backward compatibility.
The work of the V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) and V2P (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian) modes was also demonstrated in conjunction with Audi, Ford and Ducati: modules based on the Qualcomm 9150 chipset were installed on the cars and motorcycles of these manufacturers; they warn drivers in advance when approaching unregulated intersections about the presence of a car or a motorcycle approaching from a different direction.
Another important announcement is also related to the automotive market. Speech on the third generation of the platform Qualcommfor onboard infotainment systems. It is based on the Snapdragon 820a chipset: a slightly modified “smart phone” Snapdragon 820, adapted to the specific use in the car, for example, in part of the extended operating temperature range. The platform supports Android, Linux and other real-time operating systems, interaction with the electronic control unit and the engine, as well as wireless interfaces, including Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth. In addition to the standard capabilities of on-board computers, the Qualcomm platform provides a number of new functions: voice assistant with natural speech recognition, environmental recognition with timely warning to the driver, navigation with augmented reality functions (imagine: you are directly projected on the windshield
Wide-screen ultra-high-resolution displays, active noise cancellation systems, silencing engine noise, surround sound systems and even the ability to create for each passenger their own “audio zone” in which they listen to their music and at the same time not disturb others, are taken for granted by the new a platform. More precisely, one of its versions.
The fact is that the platform will be available in three versions of the “bundle” for cars of the initial, middle and luxury levels, they will be called Performance, Premiere and Paramount, respectively. The solution is also available as a reference platform: the head unit in the 1DIN form factor for ease of prototyping.
As for consumer devices, the Snapdragon 855 platform announced at the beginning of December, which, in conjunction with the X50 modem and integrated radio modules, makes it possible to produce smartphones and tablets with support for 5G networks, both in the Sub-6 (up to 6 GHz) and and mmWave (millimeter waves). It is in the millimeter range that the first segments of 5G-networks can be launched in Russia.
The exhibition announced that in 2019 manufacturers will produce at least 30 such devices.most of which are smartphones. Commercial 5G networks are launched in the USA, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and China in the first half of 2019, which means that subscriber devices are needed for them as soon as possible. At the same time, the Snapdragon 855 platform supports simultaneous data transmission in 5G and LTE, since it uses one X24 LTE modem for 2G / 3G / 4G networks as part of SoC and a separate 5G modem X50 for 5G. This will be relevant in the next few years, while the 5G-coverage of the operators will be "patchwork"; This scheme will provide seamless transitions between networks of different generations, invisible to the user.
5G support in smartphones will provide instant access to cloud services, eliminating the need to store data locally, allow you to play multiplayer VR games with a photorealistic image that will be rendered in the cloud, will allow you to choose products in stores using augmented reality, etc.
Finally, the last but no less important announcement is Wi-Fi 6 solutions.. In particular, this is a joint product with Netgear - equipment for Mesh networks. The essence of Mesh-technology is to use a mesh topology, in which the access point is connected with the closest ones and to ensure a good indoor-coverage, you do not need to pull wires to remote points (forcing customers to switch between them, as is usually the case with household solutions) dots in repeater mode. Plus, such networks are self-adjusting: newly purchased modules, which can be any number of them, automatically “cling” to the existing ones and start working.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard itself is the new name for 802.11ax, a new Wi-Fi standard not yet finalized. The main thing in it is to increase the network capacity, primarily due to the introduction of orthogonal frequency multiplexing (OFDMA) from LTE, as well as the use of complex 1024QAM and MU-MIMO modulation schemes in the reverse channel (802.11ac supported only in the forward channel). Also added support for TWT (Target Wake-up time) - the function of the output device from sleep mode on a schedule. This is true, for example, for IoT devices, which only need to occasionally transmit small amounts of data, and disconnect for the rest of the time for the sake of increased autonomy. Naturally, the new WPA3 encryption protocol is supported - all the previous ones, alas, have already been compromised.
The Qualcomm chipset for Wi-Fi 6, on the basis of which the announced solutions are built, has low power consumption thanks to a 14-nanometer process technology, supports simultaneous connection of up to 1000 clients. When using MIMO, up to eight clients can receive and transmit data simultaneously, and when using OFDMA, up to thirty-two. This partly solves the problem that Wi-Fi is essentially a wireless hub, not a switch, and is not designed for simultaneous operation of several clients.
Up to eight spatial streams are supported in the 5 GHz band, and up to four in the 2.4 GHz band. Peak data transfer rate reaches 6 Gbps. The chipset also includes a processor with four Cortex-A53 cores operating at a frequency of up to 2.2 GHz. This allows you to implement a large number of additional functions in routers based on it.