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Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 820A SoC infotainment and connectivity processors for automotive; expanding automotive investment

Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced its latest Qualcomm Snapdragon automotive processors, the Snapdragon 820 Automotive family, offering a scalable next-generation infotainment, graphics and multimedia platform with machine intelligence and a version with integrated LTE-Advanced connectivity.

The new processors expand Qualcomm’s automotive technology portfolio, adding to a collection of integrated solutions in the areas of telematics and connectivity, as well as high definition graphics and multimedia for rich infotainment systems, machine intelligence and sensor fusion for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), GNSS location technologies, V2X (Vehicle to Vehicle/Infrastructure/Pedestrian) communications for improved safety and driver convenience, and wireless charging for electric vehicles.

The recent acquisition of Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited (CSR) has brought additional technology assets to Qualcomm Technologies’ automotive portfolio, including leading Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio, and GNSS location technology solutions. Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited is now called Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. (QTIL).

The combined CSR and Qualcomm Technologies automotive roadmap has already yielded involvement in more than 100 major automotive programs with most global automotive OEMs. Qualcomm Technologies’ highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) platforms reduce bill-of-materials (BOM) costs, accelerate time-to-market, and reduce overall system risk for OEMs by providing hardened systems and comprehensive software support.

Snapdragon 820A. The Snapdragon 820A, introduced at CES 2016, is Qualcomm Technologies’ newest automotive grade system-on-chip (SoC). Qualcomm Technologies has taken a modular approach to designing the Snapdragon 820A, enabling a vehicle’s infotainment system to be upgradable through both hardware and software updates, thereby enabling vehicles to be easily upgraded with the latest technology.

The 820A is engineered with custom-built, highly optimized cores designed for heterogeneous computing—the ability to combine its diverse processing engines within the system-on-chip (SoC), such as the CPU, GPU and DSP cores, to achieve previously unattainable performance and power savings.

The Snapdragon 820A family is based on 14nm FinFET advanced process node running Qualcomm Technologies’ custom 64-bit Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtension (HVX), Qualcomm Zeroth machine intelligence platform, and the Snapdragon 820Am version with integrated X12 LTE modem capable of 600 Mbps downlink / 150 Mbps uplink.

  • Qualcomm’s first custom-designed 64-bit quad-core CPU, the Kryo CPU uses Qualcomm Symphony System Manager as an intelligent resource management tool for Snapdragon that extends control of task scheduling and power management across the entire processor. The Kryo CPU has 2x performance and efficiency when compared to the CPU of the Snapdragon 810.

  • The Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU offers 40% improvement to graphics performance, compute capabilities, and power usage when compared to Adreno 430.

  • Significant improvement to the Hexagon 680 DSP enables the CPU to offload many tasks for more efficient processing. The Hexagon 680 DSP also allows for ultra-low power “always-on” sensors and advanced low power-image processing. The new Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP brings significant improvement to performance and battery life.

  • The Zeroth initiative, a machine intelligence platform on Snapdragon 820A, is designed to enable automakers to develop state-of-the-art deep learning-based solutions using neural networks for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and in-vehicle infotainment scenarios, and run them efficiently on embedded platforms in the vehicle. Zeroth accelerates execution of deep neural networks using the heterogeneous compute engines that are part of the Snapdragon 820A. A Zeroth-powered development kit for automotive solutions will be available for the Snapdragon 820A.

  • Supporting LTE Category 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps, and LTE Category 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps, the Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE supports 33% faster peak download speeds, and triple the peak upload speeds of Snapdragon 810 processor with X10 LTE.

With the Snapdragon 820 Automotive processing platform, we are delivering an unprecedented level of performance and technology integration designed to significantly enhance the consumer’s safety and in-vehicle experience. Never before has the unparalleled combination of integrated LTE cloud connectivity, powerful heterogeneous computing, leading-edge multimedia performance and breakthrough machine learning capabilities been delivered in a single chip, fully integrated, automotive grade solution.

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. The Snapdragon 820 Automotive platform has been designed to deliver all of these capabilities and much more.

—Patrick Little, senior vice president and general manager, automotive, Qualcomm Technologies

The version with integrated X12 LTE modem is designed to support continuous in-car and cellular connectivity, featuring the leading 4G LTE Advanced Pro that can support up to 600 Mbps download/150Mbps upload speeds, stream HD movies into the car, serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot supporting 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO, connect multiple mobile devices inside the car, and support 802.11p DSRC for V2X (Vehicle to Vehicle/Infrastructure/Pedestrian) communications.

Local connectivity inside the car via Bluetooth supports content sharing between mobile devices brought into the car and the car’s infotainment system. Qualcomm Technologies is also helping to lead the 3GPP in developing specifications for automotive V2X, for both LTE release 14 (LTE V2X) and 5G standards.

The Snapdragon 820A’s sensor integration provides cognitive awareness and vehicle self-diagnostics, supports ADAS features for improved vehicle safety systems, and provides location and navigation through GNSS and dead reckoning technologies. By integrating advanced camera and sensor processing, the 820A supports critical always-on warnings and emergency services, extends standard cameras to Intelligent Cameras, and supports parking assist periphery vision features using surround view cameras. These features are supported by the on-chip Hexagon 680 DSP with HVX, which supports multiple automotive camera sensors connected simultaneously.

The Snapdragon 820A family of automotive-grade processors is designed for the automotive ecosystem and offers a number of features:

  • Scalable and modular platform offering pin, package and software-compatibility, with optional integrated LTE capability that is hardware and software upgradeable as wireless network technology evolves.

  • Supports vertical tiering options by offering the Snapdragon 820A family across premium to standard performance configurations.

  • Comprehensive software support for QNX, Linux and Android, as well as substantial platform-level integration of high value sub-systems to respond to the acceleration in refresh cycles while managing cost.

  • The connectivity, multimedia and graphics capabilities allow many real-time cloud based features, including streaming multimedia, enterprise collaboration, real-time maps and location services, remote diagnostics and one-touch telematics, with substantial potential for performance, connectivity and multimedia innovation for auto OEMs.

  • The upgradability option allows a wireless operator to offer an 820A Smart LTE Module concept for the version with an integrated modem that allows cellular connectivity to be updated through both hardware and software when new features become available on the cellular network.

Qualcomm Technologies is also collaborating with Aisin AW to develop the modular infotainment solution utilizing the Snapdragon 820A.

As part of the automotive ecosystem, Neusoft Corporation, industry experts in ADAS Vision solutions, also collaborates with Qualcomm Technologies to provide cognitive vision solutions on Snapdragon 820A, leveraging the compute performance of the HVX vision engine alongside infotainment systems.

Automotive samples of the 820A family are expected to be available in Q1 2016.

Audi adopts 602A processor for MY 2017
Audi has selected Qualcomm Snapdragon 602A processors for MY 2017 vehicles. Announced at CES in January 2014, the Snapdragon 602A is Qualcomm Technologies’ first automotive grade infotainment chipset and is designed to meet stringent automotive industry standards while delivering advanced smartphone-quality connectivity, infotainment, navigation, voice quality and control features in cars.
At CES 2016, Qualcomm Technologies is demonstrating the Snapdragon 602A integrated in an Audi Q7 at one of the Qualcomm booths. The 602A contains a quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, integrated GNSS baseband processing and additional high-performance audio, video and communication cores. The processor pairs with Qualcomm Technologies’ leading edge Snapdragon MDM modem roadmap to offer a comprehensive connected experience.

Other Qualcomm automotive solutions. In addition to the new 820A, the combined portfolio of automotive solutions includes:

  • Snapdragon 602A Processor. An integrated chipset solution first announced at CES 2014 that supports advanced smartphone-level multimedia, navigation, connectivity and voice quality and control features in cars. The 602A contains Qualcomm Technologies’ quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, integrated GNSS baseband processing and additional high-performance audio, video and communication cores.

  • Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem. The premier modem within the Snapdragon family with peak download speeds up to 600 Mbps and download speeds up to 150 Mbps, the X12 LTE modem supports several next-generation features such as LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation, LTE in unlicensed spectrum (LTE-U), and LTE + Wi-Fi Link Aggregation.

  • Snapdragon X5 LTE Modem. The mobile industry’s first modem to implement 4G LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, achieving LTE Category 4 peak download data rates of up to 150Mbps by aggregation of two 10MHz LTE.

  • Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac technology (QCA65x4 Wi-Fi). A chipset used in tandem with X12 and X5 modems to deliver superior Wi-Fi and support consumer features like Wi-Fi 802.11ac hotspots and safety applications such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) with a seamless combination of Wi-Fi and Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC). Qualcomm VIVE is a product of Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

  • Qualcomm Atlas infotainment SoC. QTIL’s highly integrated, cost-effective, pre-packaged Display Audio solution for mid-to-standard tiers, that integrates infotainment, connectivity and location features in a single turnkey SoC solution for the in-vehicle environment.

  • Qualcomm tuneX chip. QTIL’s pin-compatible front-end tuner chip that expertly combines hardware and software to provide automotive OEMs with a highly cost-effective software-defined radio (SDR) solution, and offers leading RF performance across all radio standards including AM/FM, DAB, T-DMB, DRM and HD Radio, eliminating the need for OEMs to implement dedicated hardware for each region.

  • Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC). Qualcomm Incorporated’s highly efficient, convenient and easy-to-use technology for charging electric vehicles without the need to plug-in. Developed over many years, the technology uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy, wirelessly, from a ground-based pad to a pad integrated in the vehicle.

    Qualcomm Incorporated is an Official Technical Partner of FIA Formula E Championship and Qualcomm Halo WEVC systems are integrated into the Official Qualcomm Safety Cars. Allowing these key support vehicles to be charged wirelessly enables them to remain fully charged at all times, ready to be rapidly deployed in case of an emergency

  • Discrete auto grade GNSS, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth/WiFi combo products. – these include solutions such as QTIL’s CSRC9300, which combines Bluetooth Smart, Wi-Fi and its Qualcomm aptX audio codec to support new applications for cars such as in-vehicle video streaming; and standalone GNSS with Dead Reckoning support, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi products.


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