Drones are becoming a big business, with even companies like Sony getting into the fray with its Aerosense Camera Drone. However, creating new commercials drone from scratch is not an easy task, and there are many barriers to entry. Not to mention, there’s a huge elephant in the room in the form of DJI, which rules the drone market with an iron fist.
However, Qualcomm is looking to tear down those barriers of entries by bringing technology originally means for smartphones to drones. Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight is aimed at both robotics and consumer drone platforms and at its heart is a 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor paired with an Adreno 330 GPU. In addition, you’ll find a Hexagon DSP, 2x2 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, GPS support, 4K video support (along with simultaneous 720p encoding) and support for Qualcomm Quick Charge technology. All of this tech fits onto a board the measures just 58mmx40mm.
“Today, drones are made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications, adding to the cost and bulk of consumer drones,” said Qualcomm Technologies SVP of Product Management, Raj Talluri. “Drones are enabling a broad range of applications such as aerial photography, the ultimate selfie accessory and sports filming, so the ability to shoot in 4K is a must-have feature.”
Qualcomm is targeting its Snapdragon Flight platform not only at startups looking to quickly and cost-effectively get off the ground, but also at existing drone manufacturers that are looking to streamline developmental costs. Qualcomm is hoping that it has plenty of takers, as it is promising that Snapdragon Flight will not only result in smaller and lighter drones, but also drones that are easier to fly.
With Qualcomm’s investors calling for a breakup, and planned wide-scale layoffs, it’s nice to see that the company is looking beyond its core business at other growing markets.