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Snapdragon Shifts to Self-Driving Cars

March 2, 2021

Author: Mike Demler

Qualcomm is taking its smartphone-processor technology on the road. Aiming to build on its leadership in automotive-telematics chipsets and employing its Bluetooth+Wi-Fi combos for in-vehicle connectivity, the company is developing Snapdragon-based systems that target ADASs, autonomous vehicles, and cloud-based connected-car services. Its new Snapdragon Ride platform offers capabilities ranging from a windshield-mounted ADAS that delivers 10 trillion operations per second (TOPS) to a server in the trunk that can deliver as much as 700 TOPS to power Level 4 self-driving cars.

The company plans to leverage that connectivity with its Snapdragon Cockpit systems for software-defined vehicles. Its new Gen 4 system integrates a 5nm Snapdragon processor similar to its latest flagship-smartphone chip, driving cockpit displays, delivering multimedia content, running user applications, and enabling carmakers to update electronic control units (ECUs). To manage the over-the-air (OTA) link, Qualcomm is developing its own cloud platform, which carmakers can employ to download software through the cellular modem

The company derived the Snapdragon Cockpit and Ride processors from its smartphone designs, although it says the automotive versions include (unidentified) purpose-built subsystems. It plans to ship Gen 4 Cockpit systems later this quarter. All of the Ride-system SoCs are available now, targeting vehicles entering production in 2022. Although they support up to Level 4 ADASs, their initial software only supports Level 2+. Qualcomm is working with partners to develop the Level 4 software stack, which it plans to offer for 2024 production vehicles.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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