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Samsung takes aim at HUAWEI with its latest 5G chips

Expect to see the modem in 5G devices before long.

Published onJune 22, 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G speed test
  • Samsung has unveiled 5G chips that could scoop up HUAWEI’s business.
  • The 5G modem in offers more bandwidth while cutting power in half.
  • Expect them to come to carriers and wireless networks around the world.

Samsung is taking advantage of bans on HUAWEI products by launching 5G technology that directly fills the void. The company has introduced a trio of 5G chips ahead of Mobile World Congress 2021 that (along with an antenna) could scoop up business HUAWEI has been forced to leave behind.

For most people, a new 5G modem will likely have the greatest impact.  Samsung has introduced a second-generation 5G modem system-on-chip that doubles the capacity of an upcoming baseband chip while using half as much power as the previous model. Expect it to form the heart of a third-gen 5G Compact Macro box that promises higher bandwidth (a 400MHz swath), more frequency, and lower power draw.

Samsung is also delivering a new-generation millimeter wave radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) with much smaller antennas and reduced power use, while another melds a digital/analog front end with an RFIC to double bandwidth while shrinking size. An all-encompassing One Antenna Radio, meanwhile, is both more compact and easier to roll out on networks.

Read more: The best 5G phones you can buy

The tech giant also teased its 6G plans. Samsung has explored the world beyond 5G by looking at very high frequency terahertz wireless and testing a 140GHz wireless link. The company envisions 6G helping mixed reality, “high-fidelity” holograms, and even digital replicas of real technology. We wouldn’t expect 6G to arrive any time soon when 5G is barely available, but the tease shows where Samsung is headed.

This is back-end equipment that you likely won’t see first-hand. However, the Samsung hardware could lead to more and faster 5G coverage for your phones and other mobile devices. It’s also bad news for HUAWEI as it continues to bleed share in everything from cellular networks through to the phones themselves — Samsung could effectively fill HUAWEI’s shoes by becoming a true wireless powerhouse that controls everything from the phones to the behind-the-scenes equipment.