In case you don’t know Qualcomm is to the mobile and IoT connectivity space like Intel is to PCs.
What started as an ARM System-on-a-chip maker has turned into the reference standard for so many IoT, AI, 4/5G, networking, and other smart devices as evidenced by the 14 (so far) press releases from CES 2018 alone.
One of its bolder moves has been to assault Intel head-on with Windows 10 running on the ARM-based 835 Snapdragon Mobile PC platform offering all the advantages of Windows 10 desktop operating system on essentially a mobile device. These devices should have superior battery life, always connected via LTE or Wi-Fi and be lower cost.
OEM brands Asus (NovaGo), HP (Envy x2) and Lenovo (Miix 630) have announced systems and are just going through Telco certification in Australia before they can release the devices.
“We continually look for ways to redefine the mobile experience for customers, which is why we developed the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile PC platform,” said Don McGuire, vice president, global product marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With the commitment of leading mobile operators worldwide, the Always-Connected PC will offer consumers one of the most comprehensive mobile computing experiences, with always-on connectivity of up-to Gigabit LTE speeds* and ‘beyond all-day’ battery life packaged into innovative, thin and light PC designs.”
Another bold move was to throw weight behind Google Assistant by announcing a New Home Hub Platforms Supporting Android Things to bring Google Assistant into households everywhere. It has a released a purpose-built platforms and system-on-modules designed for efficient commercialisation of AI-enabled home devices via Google Assistant.
It gives devices and appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and washing machines digital assistant and audio capability. It brings together a unique combination of processing capability, connectivity options, voice user interfaces and premium audio technologies all in one platform, allowing OEMs to deliver comprehensively featured and highly intuitive devices to consumers.
This is a game changer in so many ways and may eventually reduce the plethora of smart operating systems to just the Apple and Google versions.
“The design of AI-enabled home hubs can be a complex task, requiring OEMs to bring together connectivity, compute and security hardware and software elements in a very short time. Our Home Hub platforms using Android Things can integrate the necessary technologies, with support for voice interfaces, connectivity to several ecosystems, and cloud integration to enable a wide range of IoT devices,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely positioned to support OEMs with even the most challenging designs, and we are excited to bring these new platform options to our IoT customers enabling them to create cost-effective, innovative AI-enabled devices.”
Similarly, it has bought Google Assistant to the smart speaker by adding support for Android Things. Qualcomm’s smart audio platform helps manufacturers to reduce development time of smart speakers featuring support for the Google assistant and other Google services.
“Our Smart Audio Platform helps allow traditional speaker OEMs to more efficiently join and participate in the growing smart speaker segment,” said Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager, voice and music, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. “Demand for voice control and assistance in the home is rapidly gaining traction, and this platform is designed to offer great flexibility for manufacturers wanting to deliver highly differentiated user experiences taking advantage of the power of Google cloud-based services.”
Headphones and buds also get a mention with new low power, feature-rich Bluetooth 5 solutions including support for voice assistant services, Qualcomm TrueWireless stereo, Qualcomm aptX HD audio and integrated Hybrid ANC (noise cancellation).
“This breakthrough single-chip solution is designed to dramatically reduce power consumption and offers enhanced processing capabilities to help our customers build new life-enhancing, feature-rich devices. This will open new possibilities for extended-use hearable applications including virtual assistants, augmented hearing and enhanced listening,” said Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager, voice & music, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. “Without sacrificing our superior sound quality, we can now help to pack tremendous functionality into small, wireless hearable devices. Audio designers are looking for a platform solution that brings an ideal combination of power, size and functionality and user experience – and the QCC5100 series is designed to deliver exactly that.”
Mesh networking goes mainstream as Qualcomm expands the platform to smart home products and launches new reference platform capabilities including Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec enabling smart voice assistant integration.
The company is enabling, through the integration of Qualcomm Aqstic and Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, leading voice recognition capabilities in the platform to create virtually seamless voice-driven experiences in the home.
Additionally, Qualcomm Technologies is expanding the range of products that support the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform, beyond networking infrastructure to include smart speakers, smoke detectors, security systems, and smart bulbs where manufacturers are leveraging the mesh networking platform to help create new and better-connected experiences.
“Demand for voice control and assistance in the home is only getting stronger, and we are pleased to bring to market the first voice-enabled mesh Wi-Fi system,” said Tenlong Deng, general manager, the wireless device business unit, ASUS. “Our new ASUS Lyra Voice, powered by the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform, provides consumers with not only a strong Wi-Fi connection in virtually every corner of their home but also an intuitive way to access their smart devices using their voice.”
“Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies are working together on a variety of strategic projects, and we’re pleased that Qualcomm Technologies is bringing the power of Cortana to the mesh networking platform,” said Jordi Ribas, corporate vice president, AI products, Microsoft. “Microsoft technology on Qualcomm Technologies’ powered devices will empower people’s creativity and productivity at work and at home.”
I won’t go through the other releases except to say that Qualcomm’s work in autonomous vehicles, connected cars and al things mobile is impressive.
Qualcomm has a great short article on the next three big trends here. here.