At the 2019 CES show, electronics company Qualcomm made a splash in the automotive segment with the launch of the third generation of its Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform. It had recently launched the new Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, which is the first to support multigigabit 5G. Qualcomm is increasingly making its presence felt in a world where the boundaries between technology and automotive companies have started to blur.
The third Generation of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Automotive cockpit platform is a more evolved version of the Snapdragon 602A and 820A. It has three different variants – Performance (for entry level), Premiere (for mid-tier), and Paramount (for the best experience). Qualcomm is positioning the third generation as the “the automotive industry’s first-announced scalable artificial intelligence-based platforms,” and says the platform has the capability to cater to the evolving needs of the automotive industry, across all classes of vehicles. Through such differentiation, Qualcomm is emphasizing its ability to provide a complete range of solutions for all kinds of vehicles. From the perspective of automotive manufacturers or tier one companies, a supplier like Qualcomm having a full line means that they need to use only one architecture and scale up their budget depending on whether the model they are making is budget, mid-tier or premium car lines. The outcome is time and cost efficiencies and the ability to deliver a consistent experience.
In future, the next generation of vehicles that come off the production lines will need more advanced and powerful AI solutions for in-car assistance, contextual safety, navigation, computer vision and other functions. Qualcomm’s new platform can be used for such functions with the inclusion of components like a multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine, a 4thgeneration Qualcomm Kryo CPU, a Qualcomm Hexagon Processor, Qualcomm Spectra ISP, and the 6th generation Qualcomm Adreno Visual Subsystem. All these components have been optimized to fully leverage their AI capabilities.
This heterogenous computing approach makes it possible to use the right computer engine (CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP) for the right task, and is different from the manner in which other companies approach the need for AI in vehicles. Some of Qualcomm’s competitors opt to load up AI all on the NPU, CPU, or GPU. This approach is less efficient though it is easier. Qualcomm’s approach is harder but is more effective.
The new cockpit platforms also feature Qualcomm’s Vision Enhanced Precise Positioning-based computer vision capabilities and camera sensors. When it comes to connectivity, Qualcomm’s suite of wireless technologies supports multi-mode cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, and enhanced Bluetooth capabilities. You do not have to worry about protection for personal and vehicle data as the third generation platforms come with Qualcomm’s Secure Processing Unit, which performs this function. The third generation platforms also come with software support for real-time operating systems, including Android, LINUX high-level, and others.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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