Qualcomm steps up its IoT game with processors designed to ease standard fragmentation

Qualcomm's latest efforts highlight how the company is supporting multiple clouds, development platforms, and standards. The goal: Be a Swiss Army chip for Internet of Things deployments.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Qualcomm is stepping up its Internet of Things (IoT) game, with support for Android Things OS, integration with Amazon Web Services, and two systems-on-chips that aggregate a bevy of standards.

The two system-on-chips (SoCs) -- QCA4020 and QCA4024 -- support standards such as Bluetooth Low Energy 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Thread. As for development, Qualcomm's new systems have pre-integrated support for Apple's HomeKit, Open Connectivity Foundation, AWS' IoT software development kit (SDK), and Microsoft's Azure IoT Devices SDK.

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Qualcomm's new processors are being outlined at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Qualcomm's SOCs are sampling today and will be commercially available in the second half of 2017.

Separately, Qualcomm said that it will be first to add support for Google's Android Things OS on its 4G LTE processors. Android Things will be supported on Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processors with X5 LTE modems. The company noted that Android Things support, due later this year, will also connect to Google Cloud Platform.

Add it up and you quickly see Qualcomm's plan: Be the Swiss Army processor for IoT deployments. Qualcomm, which recently diversified its business via the acquisition of NXP, is likely to find an audience given that the smart home, smart city and IoT landscape overall is fragmented and more integration is needed.

Among other items from Qualcomm:

  • The company said it has started sampling its Snapdragon X20 LTE chipset, its latest LTE multinode modem and Gigabit LTE product. The X20 is expected to deliver download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. Qualcomm said the new chipset is a stepping stone to 5G services, which are expected to rival fiber broadband.
  • New front-end RF tools were launched to commercialize antenna performance enhancements, modem intelligence, and optimization to speed up connections.
  • Qualcomm Technologies also outlined its first successful 5G connection based on what is expected to become the new global 5G standard.

VIDEO: Qualcomm's chips will hook into Google's Android Things

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