Qualcomm Unveils Latest Snapdragon SoCs for Connected Cars
At CES, the chip maker announces Snapdragon 820A, a family of chips that is aimed at helping carmakers enhance the driver experience.Qualcomm is continuing to make a push into the growing automotive technology market, with officials this week unveiling a portfolio of processors based on the company's upcoming latest-generation Snapdragon 820 chips. Officials unveiled the Snapdragon 820 Automotive (820A) family of systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) at CES 2016 as part of a larger series of announcements at the event that touched on everything from self-organizing networks (SONs) to smart homes. Automotive technology—from infotainment systems to self-driving vehicles—has been a key topic at CES, and Qualcomm officials are making clear that the company intends to be a player in the space. It's a highly competitive market, as illustrated by Nvidia's introduction this week of its Drive PX 2 system aimed at accelerating the development of autonomous vehicles. Qualcomm is looking to leverage its capabilities for integrating multiple components—from the CPU and GPU to the digital signal processor (DSP) and machine intelligence—onto a single piece of silicon, making it easier and less expensive for carmakers to put the technology into their offerings. The company already offers a range of products targeted at the automotive space, and in October 2015 ramped up its capabilities when it bought British chip maker CSR for $2.5 billion. CSR brought Qualcomm technologies aimed at Bluetooth connectivity, automotive infotainment and location.
"The automotive industry has long been asking for a single scalable solution capable of delivering the rich user experience and level of performance, connectivity and upgradability that consumers are accustomed to on their personal mobile devices—including real-time cloud connectivity and navigation, immersive 4K graphics and video displays, the flexibility of hardware and software upgradability, and the deep learning and remote diagnostic capabilities needed to deliver the next level of safety performance in the vehicle," Patrick Little, senior vice president and general manager of automotive at Qualcomm, said in a statement.