Everyday the automotive industry delves even further into smartphone technology and now they are one step closer.
On Tuesday at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, the San Diego, Calif.-based chip maker announced the second generation of its automotive-grade “system on a chip” (SoC) with the Snapdragon 820A. The new chip is built off of its latest mobile phone processors.
The 820A contains all custom Qualcomm silicon, including a 64-bit Kryo CPU, Adreno 530 GPU and Hexagon 680 DSP. What does any of that mean? It means it can power a car infotainment systems with 4K graphics. More importantly, though, the new chip will support Qualcomm’s deep learning algorithms called Zeroth. First announced with mobile SoC Snapdragon 820, Zeroth runs locally on the Qualcomm chip and is used to analyze and classify images and sounds. Qualcomm has demonstrated how Zeroth can recognize specific objects like people, animals or even hand gestures. As more cameras and sensors get added to cars, this kind of image recognition is an essential part in the future of autonomous driving.
The SoC will also come paired with a Qualcomm LTE modem. The company’s new x12 LTE modem supports download speed of up to 600 megabytes per second and upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. And like many cars now, the new chip can generate a WiFi hotspot.
Qualcomm announced its first generation SoC focused on car infotainment systems with the Snapdragon 602A at CES in 2014. And after two years, Qualcomm finally has a customer to announce: Audi. The Germany company will start shipping Snapdragon 602A-powered cars in 2017 vehicles.
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