San Diego It’s the start of a new year, and that means it’s time for CES, the high-tech exhibition of all things consumer electronics in Las Vegas.
Sony Electronics, which is based in Rancho Bernardo, showed off 4K televisions (55-inch and 65-inch models) with organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. The term 4K refers to the number of pixels on the screen, measured horizontally.
Sony also showed off a 4K projector; its ultra-compact waterproof and shockproof digital camera with a Zeiss lens (and a list price of $699); a $249 portable wireless speaker suitable for parties (it has flashing strobe lights); wireless Bluetooth earbuds; smartphones aimed at the middle market; and a dog.
That’s Aibo, the robotic dog, which has been redesigned inside and out. Media reports agree that the 2017 Aibo (it debuted in the fall) is cuter than the earlier version. Aibo has artificial intelligence, making it able to learn from experience, as well as a variety of sensors.
Qualcomm Inc. announced that its Snapdragon automotive chips were on board the 2018 Honda Accord, as well as models from Jaguar Land Rover and Chinese automaker BYD.
Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) is better known for building modem chips, but it recently got into radio frequency front-end chips via RF360 Holdings, the company’s joint venture with TDK. At the Las Vegas show, the pair announced design wins from Google, HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony Mobile. All will be using its RF front-end chips in mobile phones.
Qualcomm said it recently launched a new production facility to expand capacity to make RF front-end components. The company also shared its ambition to supply the full range of wireless device components, from modems to antennas.
It is interesting to note that Broadcom Ltd., which is mounting a hostile takeover of Qualcomm by nominating its own candidates for the company board, also makes RF front-end chips.
Qualcomm chose other recent events — October’s 4G-5G Summit and December’s Snapdragon Summit — to announce advances in fifth-generation networking (and a 5G modem chip) as well as its line of processor chips. The big question now is who will put the newly unveiled Snapdragon 845 processor into their mobile phones. Answers might come at the Mobile World Congress convention in February.
Qualcomm had other announcements, including news about its underlying aptX audio technology for listening to music wirelessly. Also new is the Qualcomm Smart Audio platform: hardware and software for developers wanting to mix Qualcomm innovations with digital assistants and voice services such as Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Android Things.