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Samsung on Monday announced that its next-generation mobile processors will support 6CA (carrier aggregation) LTE modem technology. In other words, they’ll be the company’s fastest yet – at least, on paper.
Carrier aggregation, as Tim explained in a write-up earlier this year, is a system where multiple carriers are combined to improve throughput and speeds. 2CA, for example, combines two 20 MHz carriers for a total of 40 MHz of bandwidth, effectively doubling the speed. 6CA, as the name suggests, can aggregate up to six carriers.
Samsung’s Exynos 9 Series (8895), the chip that powered some versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, featured a Cat.16 LTE modem sporting downlink speeds of 1.0 gigabits per second courtesy of 5CA technology. Its new Cat.18 LTE solution with 6CA tech is capable of downlink speeds of up to 1.2Gbps which Samsung says can allow device users to download a full-length HD movie within 10 seconds.
Keep in mind of course that all of this is theoretical and is only beneficial if your wireless carrier supports it. As The Verge highlights, carriers are still somewhat behind the times as Sprint only earlier this year added support for three-carrier aggregation.
Samsung’s Cat.18 6CA will be integrated into mobile processors entering mass production by the end of the year. That means it’ll miss next month’s Galaxy Note 8 and will instead likely first show up in next year’s Galaxy S9 handset.