Dubbed the X16 it will replace the X12 is part of Snapdragon 820 or standalone chip. The X12 can only manage 600 Mbps download and 150 Mbps upload when the wind is behind it.
The reason everyone is getting moist about the X16 is because it is probably going to end up in the iPhone 8. The iPhone 7 will have an X12 class modem.
But more importantly it will be included in the successor to Snapdragon which should appear in the shops around late February 2017.
The X16 modem supports the Snapdragon All Mode including Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) and LTE-U. This is Qualcomm’s first 14nm modem based on the FinFet process and it will replace the 9×45 and 9×40 modems which are based on Cat 12 / Cat 13 upload speeds and 20nm manufacturing process.
The new X16 modem is category 16. This specification defines download speeds of 1 Gbps and upload up to 150 Mbps.
Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and president, QCT said
“In addition to serving as a significant milestone for the mobile industry, the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is a powerful testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ continued technology leadership in all things wireless. Not only does the Snapdragon X16 blur the lines between wired and wireless broadband, but marks an important step toward 5G as we enable deeper unlicensed spectrum integration with LTE and more advanced MIMO techniques to support growing data consumption and deliver an even faster and smoother user experience.”
Qualcomm managed to reach 1 Gbps using carrier aggregation and 4×4 MIMO. The Snapdragon X16 LTE modem can receive 10 unique streams of data using only three 20 MHz carriers.