Qualcomm introduces new wireless audio features and a smarter 5G modem – The Verge


imageQualcomm is using Mobile World Congress to show off some new technology that should improve 5G connectivity and wireless audio.These new capabilities — and the chips that make them possible — are likely to land in the next generation of earbuds and high-end Android phones starting in the second half of this year.

The Snapdragon X70 5G modem-RF system attempts to improve your phone’s 5G connection with the help of an AI processor.This helps it maximize 5G signal for better coverage — particularly important for mmWave signals, which are short-range compared to the broader coverage of low and mid-band frequencies.Qualcomm says this improvement is limited to situations like stadiums and city blocks, and that it doesn’t address one of mmWave’s key weaknesses: the signal’s inability to travel from outdoors to indoors.But where there’s no mmWave signal, the new AI processor should boost sub-6GHz coverage and speeds, too.

The new audio features, wrapped up in a platform called Snapdragon Sound, include a feature teased last year : wireless earbud support for 16-bit “CD-quality” lossless audio over Bluetooth.There’s also a gaming mode with 68ms latency — 25 percent lower than Qualcomm’s current technology.Another addition is the ability to record in stereo through a pair of earbuds.

The company’s latest adaptive active noise cancellation technology is also included..

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