Zoom zoom: Qualcomm’s next phone chip boasts 450 Mbps downloads

The next big chip cycle for Qualcomm and the mobile device makers that use the company’s chips is nearly here: Expect phones and tablets using the new 64-bit chip from Qualcomm in the first half of 2015. Aside from faster clock speeds and more power efficiency, you’ll likely see faster mobile broadband download speeds, depending on your carrier’s network.

That’s because Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 will support Category 9 carrier aggregation for LTE-Advanced with the ability to use 3 x 20 MHz data channels.

By comparison, some current [company]Qualcomm[/company] chips can aggregate a pair of channels that each theoretically support 150 Mbps transfers or 300 Mbps overall downloads in a best-case scenario. Add a third 150 Mbps channel and what do you get? The 450 Mbps speeds that Qualcomm has demonstrated in the lab with a Snapdragon 810.

From the company’s release on Thursday:

“Category 9 capabilities have been validated with Snapdragon 810 processor-based tests conducted with multiple commercial network and test equipment companies, as well as an over-the-air demonstration in a commercial network environment.  Utilizing devices powered by the Snapdragon 810 processor, each test successfully demonstrated the support of 3x Carrier Aggregation with three LTE component carriers, each with a bandwidth of up to 20 MHz, allowing for Category 9 peak data rates of up to 450 Mbps in the downlink.”

Here in the U.S., AT&T became the first network operator to use carrier aggregation to boost mobile broadband transfers back in March of this year. We’re a bit behind the rest of the world, though: In November 2013, EE in the UK piloted 300 Mbps transfers in London, while SK Telecom started even sooner in Asia. Regardless, operators are quickly working toward carrier aggregation techniques and next year’s phones using the Snapdragon 810 processor will be able to take full advantage of them.