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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Chipsets in Mobile to Automotive Uses


Feb. 14 2018, Updated 7:32 a.m. ET

A look at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets

In the previous part of this series, we saw that Qualcomm (QCOM) introduced chipsets that would bring digital assistants to a range of devices. The company also leveraged its Snapdragon processor to power advanced mobile phones, VR (virtual reality) headsets, and autonomous cars.

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Qualcomm Mobile VR platform 

At CES 2018, Qualcomm unveiled its Mobile VR platform, which powers VR headsets. The company’s Snapdragon 821 chipset would power Facebook’s (FB) standalone Oculus Go headset. 

There are rumors that Samsung (SSNLF) could launch its new mixed reality Gear headset alongside the Galaxy S9. This headset could be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon. Qualcomm would not only power Samsung’s headset but also its flagship Galaxy S9.

Snapdragon 845

At CES 2018, Qualcomm didn’t give details about its highly anticipated next-generation Snapdragon 845 processor built on Samsung’s 10nm (nanometer) node. However, leaks suggest that Snapdragon 845 would deliver 58% better performance than its predecessor.

The processor could power flagship phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S9, Vivo Xplay 7, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, OnePlus 6, LG G7, and HTC U12. More details about the processor are expected to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2018, which is scheduled for February 26 to March 1, 2018.

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Snapdragon Automotive Platform

Qualcomm (QCOM) is looking to tap the autonomous vehicle opportunity and is acquiring the world’s largest automotive chip company—NXP Semiconductors (NXPI). Qualcomm is also looking to grow organically in this market, and it has partnered with automakers such as Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, and China’s BYD.

At CES 2018, Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon Automotive Platform that is designed to power infotainment, connectivity, and other features in an autonomous vehicle. The key technology Qualcomm would offer is C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything), which would enable vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and traffic lights.

Qualcomm is working with Irish tech firm Cubic Telecom to develop a connectivity management solution that offers over-the-air feature updates and applications, network and vehicle analytics, and connected vehicle services. This solution would use a single architecture that works across different global wireless networks.

Apart from its processing solutions, Qualcomm is also developing network and connectivity solutions. We’ll look into this topic in the next article.


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