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Qualcomm aims to become one-stop shop for IoT development

Mobile technology giant announces intention to become dedicated destination for developers across the IoT space

As the need for connected, intelligent and autonomous devices grows rapidly, businesses attempting to prosper in this fast-moving economy increasingly need a reliable source of control and connectivity technology for their internet of things (IoT) and robotic devices. Aiming to address these needs, Qualcomm has revealed a plan to become a “one-stop shop” for developers across the IoT space, the first part of which sees the opening of a new IoT centre of excellence and the launch of new IoT products.

Qualcomm has extended the expansion of its strategic collaboration with components and enterprise computing services provider Arrow Electronics, to establish the Edge Labs Centre of Excellence to alleviate IoT development challenges while increasing the adoption of edge artificial intelligence (AI) across a variety of IoT applications and use cases.

The firms say edge and AI services development is becoming increasingly challenging to customers due to factors such as lack of prior experience, limited access to high-performance edge and AI chipsets, supply chain complexity, and a fledgling ecosystem.

Edge Labs has been set up to help innovators navigate these challenges while increasing the adoption of Edge AI using services from Qualcomm Technologies across security, safety, healthcare, robotics, cameras, displays, optical inspection and other IoT applications.

Edge Labs will have a dedicated service architect and engineering team to develop application-specific offerings, including training sales and field application engineers specifically on Qualcomm products. It will also offer design services to enable lower risk and faster time to market for customers through eInfochips, an Arrow company.

"Edge AI is the next big engineering frontier, and we’re thrilled to expand our strategic collaboration with Arrow Electronics to strengthen the development and proliferation of IoT technologies and serve a more diverse and global customer base,” said Dev Singh, vice-president of business development for Qualcomm Technologies. “Edge Labs COE customers will have the ability to unlock new and unique edge AI use cases.”

The first development kit from eInfochips as part of the Edge Labs initiative, Aikri 42x, based on Qualcomm QRB4210 SoC, has just launched. This coincides with the launch by Qualcomm of what it calls the world’s first integrated 5G IoT processors that can support four different operating systems, in addition to two new robotics platforms and an accelerator program for IoT ecosystem partners.

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Qualcomm believes the new technology will empower manufacturers participating in what it calls the rapidly expanding world of devices at the connected intelligent edge. It cited data from Precedence Research showing the market for connected, intelligent and autonomous devices will likely hit $116bn by 2030 and so stresses that businesses attempting to compete in this fast-moving economy need a reliable source of control and connectivity technology for their IoT and robotic devices.

In terms of products, the Qualcomm QCS6490 processor and Qualcomm QCM6490 processor will have new integrated 5G IoT processors. The company has upgraded the high-tier SOC Qualcomm QCS6490 and Qualcomm QCM6490 processors, used for a range of IoT applications, and the Qualcomm QCS6490/Qualcomm QCM6490 will now be able to run Linux, Ubuntu and Microsoft Windows IoT Enterprise, in addition to Android.

The processors are designed to offer advanced features such as 5G support for global connectivity and geolocation for a broad range of offerings, including connected camera devices such as dashcams, edge boxes, industrial automation equipment (IPC, PLC) and autonomous mobile robotic.

The Qualcomm QCM5430 processor and Qualcomm QCS5430 processor are the first software-defined IoT services. They will see use across a footprint of IoT devices and deployment configurations for a visual environment.

Original equipment manufacturers – including builders of industrial handheld devices, retail equipment, mid-tier robots and connected cameras, AI edge boxes, and more – are the target audience, and can choose between premium, pre-set or customised feature packs and then upgrade them in the future to support their own needs or to provide customer upgrades.

The processors are designed to support up to five concurrent cameras, and video encoding at up to 4K60. They are also ready to support machine vision requirements with low-power and advanced edge-AI processing.

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