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Fujitsu Connected Technologies Works with Qualcomm to Develop 5G Smartphone Reference Design Based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform

Achieves the world’s thinnest (*1) smartphone design at 7.6 mm and supports millimeter wave technology

Fujitsu Connected Technologies

Yamato, Japan, April 6th, 2020 – Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited (FCNT) today announced that they have developed the world’s thinnest (*1) 5G smartphone reference design that supports both sub-6 and millimeter wave technologies utilizing the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 865 5G Modular Platform.

As commercial 5G service begins and local 5G is deployed at scale around the world in 2020, FCNT will utilize and apply this reference design to inexpensively develop and quickly commercialize 5G-enabled smart devices and solutions, meeting the needs of customers who are considering developing products or providing services that utilize 5G.

Background and Overview

5G is a next-generation communications technology that offers ultra-high speed, high capacity, and low latency. It is expected to be used in a wide range of industries, including not only the ICT field, but also fields such as mobility and healthcare.

In order to further promote the use of 5G and increase the speed of 5G uptake, FCNT has combined the technology and know-how cultivated by FCNT and Qualcomm Technologies to develop the world’s thinnest (*1) 5G smartphone reference design, with a thickness of just 7.6mm, that also supports technically challenging millimeter wave communications, utilizing the Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform, in which the RF front-end, the application processor, and the modem are all modularized.

The high level of expertise required to deploy the technology and ensure performance when designing and manufacturing 5G-capable devices may become an issue in the spread of 5G technology. FCNT will meet customers’ needs, in light of the various issues that may arise in the future 5G society, using this reference design, and the technical capabilities and know-how accumulated in the development of the reference design.

Image of the world’s thinnest 5G smartphone reference design

Features of the 5G Reference Design

1.Utilizes the Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform and 3D Installation to Achieve the World’s Thinnest(*1)Device, at 7.6mm, Capable of Both Sub-6 and Millimeter Wave

Qualcomm Technologies developed the Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform, in which the RF front-end, the application processor, and the modem are all modularized. By utilizing this Modular Platform, FCNT was able to reduce the mounting area by about 35% and the substrate area by about 20%(*2) , compared to a discrete installation in which each component is installed separately. Moreover, with substrate embedding technology using 3D installation, the substrate could be configured as a single unit, reducing the impact of the modular installation on the thickness of the device, enabling the companies to slim down the equipment thickness to just 7.6mm.

Main PCB (back side viewand front side view) images

2.Combines Equipment Thickness of 7.6mm with Millimeter Wave Antenna Performance

While the millimeter wave technology supported by this reference design has a number of benefits, including the ability to transmit large volumes of information (ultra high-speed, high capacity communications), the wavelengths used are extremely short compared to the wavelength bands used by 3G and 4G technology, meaning that designs require precision on the order of micrometers. Moreover, advanced design capabilities are required to avoid noise interference between components installed at high density, and to flexibly handle significant changes in characteristics due to variations in component installation.

In order to deliver this technically difficult millimeter wave support, FCNT selected a low-dielectric-constant substrate that can ensure the signal quality of high frequency signals and used flexible connection cables to enable more freedom in antenna placement, thereby enabling both greater thinness and optimal antenna placement. In addition, in order to preserve millimeter wave performance, FCNT selected a hybrid metal and plastic casing, thereby eliminating the impact of the metal on the antennas, while also enabling the antennas to broadcast in all directions by transversely mounting three millimeter wave modules.

Millimeter wave antenna images

3. Employs Thermal Diffusion Technology Within the Thin Body of the Device

This reference design not only uses the graphite sheets employed in existing devices, it also employs the new vapor chamber two-phase liquid cooling technology. The cooling liquid in the chamber is vaporized by heat generated by the device, and flows within the vapor chamber, dispersing its heat burden and becoming liquid again when it comes into contact with cooler surfaces of the chamber, thereby eliminating hot spots and delivering performance that enables customers to use their smartphones comfortably. Moreover, by integrating the thin and light vapor chamber with the metal and plastic hybrid casing, the chamber can diffuse heat throughout the entire interior of the device, minimizing heat differences while also contributing to device thinness.

Vapor chamber two-phase liquid cooling technology

Vapor chamber two-phase liquid cooling technology

Thermal and Performance simulation

Thermal and Performance simulation

4. Can be Extended to Products Other Than Smartphones and to Other Industries

The various technical elements included in this reference design can be applied to a wide range of fields, including IoT products for the 5G era, automobiles, and healthcare applications. FCNT will produce products based on this reference design, including the company’s first 5G smartphone, the arrows 5G, and will also actively participate in discussions regarding extending this design to customer products, not only to smartphones, but to a wide range of products and fields.


Comment from Katsumi Takada, President & Representative Director, Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited

“What we have now created with Qualcomm Technologies’ Modular Platforms is an extremely wonderful opportunity at the opening of the 5G era, which is only getting started, and I believe it will give rise to smartphones that deliver the best user experience. We at FCNT are among the first Japanese manufacturers to adopt the Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform, and have developed a 5G smartphone reference design that also supports millimeter wave technology, in order to enable customers to experience the true value of 5G. We will also launch a FCNT-made 5G smartphone based on this reference design in the Japanese market in late June of 2020, in the form of the arrows 5G. Fujitsu Connected Technologies will apply the technical insights and know-how cultivated in 5G smartphone development to extend 5G, as a-connective technology, to a range of industry fields. Moreover, as a leading company in the 5G era that is just now beginning, we will continue to provide new experiences, lifestyles and value to our customers, making people's lives more convenient and enriched, while also contributing to the development of society.”

Comment from Alex Katouzian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“As a result of our longstanding collaboration with Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited, we are very pleased to see their announcement of a 5G smartphone reference design based on the Snapdragon 865 5G Modular Platform. We hope this reference design by Fujitsu Connected Technologies, supporting advanced features including millimeter wave, will drive rapid growth of 5G worldwide.”

Trademark Notice

  • Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
  • Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
  • Other proper nouns such as product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


  • (*1):
    The world’s thinnest :
    Among smartphones that support both millimeter wave and sub-6 technology.
    (according to research conducted by Fujitsu Connected Technologies as of March 2020).
  • (*2):
    Reduce the mounting area by about 35% and the substrate area by about 20% :
    Compared to the discrete version of the MSM8994 (LTE only)
    (according to research conducted by Fujitsu Connected Technologies).

Press Contacts

Public Relations Division

Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited