Qualcomm Targets Wearables With New Snapdragon SoC, Platform
The new Snapdragon Wear platform and 2100 chip are part of a larger effort by Qualcomm to extend its products into emerging growth markets.Qualcomm officials are continuing their efforts to expand the reach of the company's wireless chip technologies beyond consumer mobile devices and into emerging industries, such as connected cars, networking and the Internet of things. The company on Feb. 11 unveiled its latest efforts, introducing a broad array of new chips that can be used not only in smartphones but also in other systems, including Internet of things (IoT) and wearable devices. The headliner is a new platform designed specifically to bring greater connectivity to wearable computing devices. The new offerings are part of a larger effort by CEO Steve Mollenkopf and other Qualcomm executives to be the dominant system-on-a-chip (SoC) supplier to all wireless devices. The company currently is the world's largest mobile chip maker, but it is feeling the pressure from rising competition and slowing sales in the global smartphone and tablet markets. In response, Qualcomm officials are looking to emerging markets as strong growth areas. "Our industry and company are undergoing rapid changes and we're enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead," Mollenkopf said during a conference call in January to discuss Qualcomm's most recent quarterly financial numbers. "We're extending our leadership in mobile and are driving our mobile technologies and core competencies in communication systems and high-performance low-power computing into significant new areas. We have taken action to enable us to seize these opportunities, while delivering improved performance."
Most chip makers, including Intel, see huge opportunities in these new markets, building out portfolios of high-performance, low-power processors and setting off a land rush of sorts to grab as much share as possible. It's not hard to understand why, given the growth expectations in the spaces. Cisco Systems officials expect there to be more than 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020, up from the 25 billion in 2014, and many other vendors and analyst firms are forecasting similar numbers.