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More 2025 flagship phones will have UWB for smarter tracking, digital car keys

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will likely pack integrated UWB thanks to Qualcomm's new wireless chip.
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Published onFebruary 26, 2024

Qualcomm FastConnect 7900
TL;DR
  • Qualcomm has revealed the FastConnect 7900 connectivity suite.
  • This wireless platform is expected to land on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor.
  • The suite has integrated UWB connectivity, so all Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 phones will have UWB hardware.

Qualcomm just announced the X80 modem at MWC 2024, but it also had more up its sleeve as it revealed the FastConnect 7900 connectivity suite.

This is the latest generation of the company’s branded wireless connectivity suite seen in its higher-end mobile chipsets, and we’re expecting this to power non-cellular connectivity in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor.

A major shot in the arm for UWB adoption

Qualcomm says this 6nm chip is the first with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and UWB connectivity — no UWB via a separate chip. Does that mean any phone using a Snapdragon processor with FastConnect 7900 have UWB support? Or will smartphone manufacturers still need to implement additional hardware?

“Yes, UWB is fully integrated as a single-chip solution,” Qualcomm told us in response to an emailed query.

Have you used UWB before?

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We also asked the company whether Android OEMs would need to pay a license fee to use this integrated UWB solution, but the firm reiterated that “all features and capabilities are delivered as a single chip solution.”

Qualcomm nevertheless added during a media briefing that this integrated approach frees up space that can be used for a bigger battery or something else altogether.

Integrated UWB hardware is a big deal nevertheless as this tech is traditionally restricted to more premium flagship phones. For example, the Galaxy S24 lacks UWB while the S24 Plus and S24 Ultra offer it. UWB is used for more precise object finding (e.g. tracker tags), digital car keys, and improved smart home controls.

FastConnect 7900: What else are you getting?

AI is making an appearance here too, and Qualcomm claims this is the first “AI-enhanced Wi-Fi system.” The chipmaker says it’s using AI to understand what you’re doing and make relevant adjustments (e.g. minimizing latency during a video call). Either way, the firm says you can expect a 30% power reduction versus the FastConnect 7800 suite inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Otherwise, the FastConnect 7900 platform also supports Wi-Fi High-Band Simultaneous for multi-device capabilities (e.g. Snapdragon Seamless) as well as the company’s XPAN tech for transmitting audio over Wi-Fi.

Expect FastConnect 7900 to launch in devices in the second half of the year, ostensibly in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor.