Qualcomm Inc., the $33.6 billion chipmaker and pioneer of 5G wireless, has been putting its energies into automotive work, including projects supporting fully electric vehicles.
The Sorrento Mesa company announced initiatives in the auto and augmented reality markets during CES, the big technology exposition that kicks off every year in Las Vegas.
The news included deals with Volvo Car Group, Honda and Renault Group. Financial details of the agreements were not disclosed.
Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) said its telematics, infotainment and in-car connectivity businesses have an order pipeline of more than $13 billion. “Infotainment” is a term for information and entertainment systems catering to drivers and their passengers.
One business intelligence company, Visiongain, estimates the global automotive chip market was worth $41.1 billion in 2021 and growing. The London company expects a compound annual growth rate of 13.1% through 2032.
Automakers Choose Snapdragon
Qualcomm and Volvo plan to join forces on premium infotainment systems in upcoming, fully electric cars under the Volvo and Polestar brands. Volvo will equip its vehicles with 3rd Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms from Qualcomm.
The Swedish company expects to launch products featuring next-generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms later this year.
“With Qualcomm’s technology in our forthcoming fully electric SUV, we are confident our infotainment system will reach the next level,” said Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars.
The European automaker plans to transition into a fully electric car company and a leader in the premium electric car segment by 2030. It is also working toward advanced autonomous drive.
Separately, Qualcomm said it would continue its longstanding working relationship with Honda, providing its 3rd Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platform to the Japanese company. U.S. consumers will be able to buy such autos by the second half of 2022.
Qualcomm bills its 3rd Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms as the automotive industry’s leading first-announced scalable artificial intelligence-based solutions.
The chips are designed to support higher levels of compute and intelligence needed for advanced capabilities featured in next-generation vehicles, including highly intuitive artificial intelligence experiences for in-car virtual assistance, natural interactions between the vehicle and driver, and contextual safety use cases.
Digital Chassis News
In other automotive news, Qualcomm and Renault announced the automaker’s plans to leverage the Snapdragon Digital Chassis in upcoming Renault vehicles. Renault is actually one of many automobile manufacturers to embrace the offering.
Qualcomm describes its Snapdragon Digital Chassis as a set of open and scalable cloud-connected platforms that utilize a unified architecture to support enhanced safety and immersive digital experiences. The Snapdragon Ride Platform, for example, offers driver assistance and supports a certain degree of automated driving (up to what the industry calls Level 3, where a driver can let the vehicle perform driving tasks, but must be ready to take control of the vehicle).
Notably, the Snapdragon Digital Chassis is updateable throughout the lifetime of the vehicle.
The San Diego business also announced it had opened an engineering software office in Berlin. It will support European automotive customers with the latest Snapdragon Digital Chassis advancements.
Also using the Snapdragon Digital Chassis are BMW Group, General Motors, Hyundai Motor Group, and Chinese automakers such as JiDU and XPeng.
CEO: Cristiano Amon
Business: Chipmaker and developer of wireless technology
Revenue: $33.6 billion in fiscal 2021; $23.5 billion in fiscal 2020
Stock: QCOM on Nasdaq
Notable: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform powers industry-leading mobile innovations in 5G, AI, gaming and camera technologies