Qualcomm says innovation to come from cars, not smartphones

The 2017 range of Audi's is fitted with Snapdragon 602A chipsets. (Source: Qualcomm)
The 2017 range of Audi's is fitted with Snapdragon 602A chipsets. (Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf has told an audience at the Frankfurt Motor Show that he believes the next wave of innovations in technology will come from cars, not smartphones.

Speaking late last week at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf told his audience to expect the next tech breakthroughs to come from cars, not smartphones. According to Mollenkopf, Qualcomm is well placed to cash in on the sector as cars are evolving into increasingly complex mobile computing and communications platforms. 

“The car is going through a massive wave of innovation,” Mollenkopf said. “Many of those innovations are areas Qualcomm has expertise. You’ll see more and more of us here.” Audi’s 2017 range of connected cars already utilizes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 602A chipset. Mollenkopft’s optimism is also well supported by the latest data from IDC. As a maker of semiconductors, it can look forward to demand for chips and connected vehicle ballooning  to $50.1 billion by 2021. This is a massive 52 percent increase from just last year.

Qualcomm isn’t the only company with semiconductor expertise eyeing the automotive market as huge opportunity. In abandoning its Project Titan autonomous vehicle project, Apple is said to have continued with development of its autonomous vehicle technology software and hardware solution. It’s A-series chips are also well-placed to end up in vehicles. Nvidia, which develops its own Tegra ARM-based chips as well, has a whole section of its website dedicated to its emerging automotive solutions.

With “peak smartphone” said to be upon us, it makes sense that cars are shaping up as the next key growth market for the tech sector.


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-09-18 (Update: 2017-09-18)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.