Qualcomm Unveils Platform for Connected Cars
The chip maker creates a reference architecture to bring together the various connectivity technologies that are coming to connected vehicles.Qualcomm officials over the past year have been making an aggressive push into the emerging connected car space, and they are taking their next step with a reference platform based on a broad array of the company's technologies. The chip maker on June 8 introduced the Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform, which officials said will give car makers the tools and technologies they need as they design and build their vehicles as well as address the growing range of use cases brought on by the rapid advances in wireless connectivity, such as 4G LTE, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The platform is designed to bring together the growing number of wireless connectivity technologies that are finding their way into modern cars into a modular, centralized architecture that can be easily upgraded on the hardware and software sides, they said. "As the technological experience continues to evolve to include ADAS [advanced driver assistance system], V2X [vehicle-to-everything] communications, 5G, and other immersive experiences, auto tech must evolve with it," Qualcomm officials wrote in a post on the company blog. "And in the context of those technologies, auto tech systems will need to handle multiple connections to and from different data-collecting objects seamlessly, recording everything from on-the-road telemetry to potential preferences for untried pizzerias. It's a huge opportunity for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers—provided they can successfully craft the computer architecture capable of handling the next wave of tech demands."
Like many other chip makers, Qualcomm is looking to emerging markets like the Internet of things (IoT), wearable devices and connected as new areas for their processors. Most recently, NXP Semiconductors, leveraging the technologies it inherited through its $12 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor, in May introduced a platform for self-driving cars that includes everything from the sensors that collect massive amounts of data to the compute engine—which the company calls the BlueBox—capable of fusing all that data and ensuring that the right decisions are made.