The automotive division of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is driving serious profits for the San Diego-based company.
Qualcomm drove home the importance of its automotive business on Sept. 22 during its first ever Automotive Investor Day, where the company announced adoption of its Snapdragon Digital Chassis platform by auto makers and suppliers has grown to an estimated $30 billion – a more than $10 billion bump from the company’s Q3 earnings report in late July.
“Qualcomm is a leader in essential technologies for the connected intelligent edge. Our One Technology Roadmap scales across virtually every industry, including automotive,” said Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm. “The Snapdragon Digital Chassis, combined with our relationships with automakers, has resulted in a $30 billion design-win pipeline. We are winning the digital future of automotive.”
At the investor day, Qualcomm estimated that the future total addressable market for automotive business will expand to $100 billion by 2030. The company projects its revenue in the industry will grow from the $975 million reported in FY21 to approximately $1.3 billion by the end of FY22; to $4 billion by the end of FY26; and greater than $9 billion by the end of FY31.
Qualcomm’s expansion in automotive has accelerated this year with announced partnerships with leading automakers including BMW, Ferrari, Volvo, Volkswagen, Renault and Stellantis – providing tech across its 14 brands, starting with Maserati. Qualcomm technology is now in over 150 million vehicles on the road today.
At the investor day event, Qualcomm announced one of its long-standing technology partners, Mercedes-Benz AG, will expand their work to include integrating Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms for digital cockpits and Snapdragon Automotive Connectivity Platforms for telematics systems in upcoming Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
“For many years, Qualcomm Technologies has helped us deliver innovative solutions to our customers,” said Magnus Ostberg, chief software officer for Mercedes-Benz AG. “Our strong relationship is vital to guiding the automotive industry through a time of exceptional growth and technological disruption.”
Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will enable Mercedes-Benz to build next-generation digital cockpits with AI-powered infotainment systems and virtual driver assistance. Snapdragon Automotive Connectivity Platforms will provide Mercedes-Benz vehicles ultra-fast connectivity, quick network response times and reliability for always connected experiences and safety.
“We are proud to bring our Snapdragon Digital Chassis solutions to Mercedes-Benz,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president & GM, automotive at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our technology partnership is transforming Mercedes-Benz vehicles as we deliver unparalleled compute, performance, AI and safety experiences by providing premium solutions for their next generation of automobiles.”
In addition to announcing an expanded partnership with Mercedes, Qualcomm also announced a new collaboration with open-source solutions experts Red Hat to develop Linux-based operating systems for Snapdragon Digital Chassis platforms.
“It’s not only about hardware. It’s about hardware and software, especially in an industry like automotive,” Amon said. “What you will see today in our product roadmap is how software is becoming more and more relevant to our offering and our solution to the industry.”
The combination of Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating Systems and Snapdragon Digital Chassis Platforms will help automakers accelerate the deployment of new cloud connected digital services designed to be updateable throughout the lifetime of the vehicle via the cloud. Linux-based operating systems offer an increased layer of protection to meet cybersecurity requirements and certifications associated with privacy and software updates attached to automotive safety applications. Platforms utilizing on Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System will be able to conduct simpler and more efficient vehicle updates and maintain functional safety.
“The rise of open source, software-defined design and development methodologies for vehicle services and innovation is bolstered by advanced automotive platforms and the flexible Linux-based operating systems underpinning them. These advancements will help enable the latest in-vehicle, cloud-native, mixed-criticality applications while also driving sustainability and quicker development cycles,” said Francis Chow, vice president and general manager of In-Vehicle Operating System and Edge at Red Hat.
“We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm Technologies on Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System support for their latest Snapdragon Automotive chipsets and look forward to working together in ushering in the new era of software-defined vehicles.”
Bill Pinnell, vice president of product management for automotive at Qualcomm, said working with open-source communities will allow Qualcomm to advance its goals to provide customers the ability to upgrade functionalities and on-demand experiences, and new technologies and services.
“Software-defined vehicles bring an exciting opportunity for the entire automotive ecosystem to go beyond the current functions of the vehicle,” he said. “We are pleased to be working with Red Hat to help make this happen and look forward to working together to accelerate innovation for next generation vehicles.”
Initial versions of Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms and Snapdragon Ride Platforms with pre-integrated Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System are expected to be available for Qualcomm’s automotive partners to evaluate beginning in the second half of 2023.