Published in PC Hardware

Qualcomm wants Snapdragons in drones

by on11 September 2015

Firebreathing flying snapdragons

Chipmaker Qualcomm has created a board designed for consumer drones and robotics applications.

Dubbed Snapdragon Flight, and given the reputation of the last Snapdragon for overheating, it could mean that we would see our first fire breathing snapdragon.

Qualcomm said that the 58x40mm board would use a Snapdragon 801 processor, advanced drone software and development tools. The aim is to create a new class of consumer drones.

Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies said today's drones were made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications. All this drove up the cost.

"The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight brings together the technologies that have defined the mobile industry onto a single board, enabling OEMs to build drones that are lighter, smaller, easy to use and affordable with long battery life and superior functionalities."

Qualcomm Technologies also announced that Yuneec, a leading developer of consumer and professional drones with a long history of innovation in electric aviation, will be one of the first companies to use the Snapdragon Flight. Yuneec plans to release a drone based on the platform in 2016.

The Snapdragon Flight features advanced processing power, real-time flight control on the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, built-in Qualcomm, 2x2 Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity, and a leading global navigation satellite system (GNSS).

The Snapdragon Flight is designed to enable the advanced features that drone consumers want most, including:

  • 4K high resolution camera support, image enhancement and video processing capabilities and simultaneous 720p encoding for first person view.
  • Advanced Communication and Navigation – Dual-band 2x2 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 5 Hz GNSS location capabilities with advanced real-time flight control on Hexagon DSP
  • Robust Camera and Sensor Support – 4K stereo VGA, optic flow cameras, inertial measurement unit (IMU), barometer sensor support and ports for additional sensors
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge Technology – Supporting fast battery charging in between video/picture sessions.

No mention of Sidewinder missiles so unless the cameraman is Hungarian we should be safe.

The Snapdragon 801 processor is under the bonnet of many smartphones and includes a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 330 GPU, Hexagon DSP, dedicated video encode engine and dual image signal processors (ISP).

Snapdragon Flight is available today for select OEMs, and is expected to be available in commercially available drones by 1H 2016. Strangely there was no price on this press release

Last modified on 11 September 2015
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