Qualcomm Plans to Move Beyond Processors to Platforms

Reporting from San Diego, California, US: Qualcomm has announced new initiatives and changes to its strategies, at its Snapdragon 835 benchmarking event. At the event, which was held on March 15, 2017, at its head quarters in San Diego, California, US, the company took the audience through a series of changes in its product branding positioning.

“For decades, the semiconductor industry has used the term “processor” to mean the component that powers the most advanced devices,” explained Don McGuire, the VP of Product Marketing at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  “It’s a word that Qualcomm Technologies has embraced over the years with our Snapdragon brand, or as we say — our Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.”

Qualcomm 2

Maguire further went on to say that describing Snapdragon as a “processor” is an inadequate representation. “In truth, Snapdragon is more than a single component, a piece of silicon, or what many would misinterpret as the CPU; it’s an anthology of technology, composed of hardware, software, and services that are not fully captured in a word like ‘processor.’ That is why Qualcomm Technologies is refining our terminology by referring to Snapdragon as a ‘platform’ instead of a processor,” said McGuire.

According to McGuire, the Snapdragon platform will take the company’s offerings beyond a single chip. While the single processor form factor is truly a system-on-a-chip (SoC), housing custom technology such as an integrated modem, CPU, GPU, and DSP, there is a lot more going on outside of the chip that is designed to ultimately support a wide variety of devices.

Technologies from the RF Front End — without which mobile devices won’t be able to acquire a signal, make a phone call, or surf the web — to Qualcomm Quick Charge, the Qualcomm Aqstic audio DAC, Wi-Fi (802.11ac and 11ad), touch controllers, and finger print technology, are all engineered to work together with the SoC.

McGuire also announced that moving forward, only premium mobile platforms will retain the Snapdragon brand. This means that the company’s processors in the 200 tier will fall under the new Qualcomm Mobile name. “Our belief is that bringing the 200-level mobile platforms under the new Qualcomm Mobile brand will help differentiate entry-level and high- volume solutions from our flagship and high-end Snapdragon premium mobile experience platforms,” added McGuire.

According to Qualcomm, as it expands its presence outside of mobile, it wants the nomenclature to reflect all the product segments it is present in. From mobile PCs and servers, to automotive, IP cameras, drones, and VR/AR headsets, among others.