Galaxy S22 Ultra has the latest and greatest Qualcomm mmWave, but not in Europe

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The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra may have the bleeding edge of RF technology in handsets to date, but unfortunately it appears Europeans will go another year with a Samsung sub-6 flagship. While all major operators offer 5G mm-Wave in the US, Europe has been slower to adopt the new standard with spectrum continuing to be allocated amongst the carriers and trickled into use. It was thought Qualcomm’s new AiP signaled a change for FR2 application in Europe, but as the French expression goes “c’est la vie". Roughly one year ago we wrote a blog highlighting Qualcomm extending their mm-Wave lead globally and it took over 12 months to find the fabled mmWave RF Transceiver, and now that we have it, we are expecting a big evolution.

Qualcomm mmWave AiP

Figure 1. Qualcomm mmWave AiP, found in Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

TechInsights has already started analyzing the Qualcomm QTM545 Antenna in Package and RF Transceiver found inside the US variant of Samsung’s flagship. Qualcomm advertises this AiP with support for 24.25-27.5, 26.5-29.5 GHz, 27.5-28.35 GHz, 37-40 GHz, 39.5-43.5 GHz mmWave spectrum. In addition to the latest QTM, we found a second mmWave RF Transceiver from Qualcomm that is the successor to the SMR526.

In the APAC variants, Samsung’s highest end handset is also using the Qualcomm AiP and RF Transceiver, while European users will connect with Samsung's Shannon 5520 sub-6 transceiver. TechInsights is in the depot phase of the 5520, a chip that is now part of a Samsung RFIC family boasting FR2 Samsung RF Transceivers launched in the Google Pixel 6.

Samsung FR2 RF Transceiver

Figure 2. Samsung FR2 RF Transceiver packaged by Murata, found in Google Pixel 6.

At a minimum, all die and AiPs are processed in our lab for an architecture level circuit extraction that reveals the latest innovation competing for slots in an expanding mmWave global market. Qualcomm’s previous mmWave AiPs, QTM525 and QTM535, were released one year apart and represented significant changes particularly in the antenna structures, meanwhile Samsung only entered the mm-Wave handset market Q4 2021 so the pace of their innovation is to be determined. How has the QTM545 AiP evolved?

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