Audi 2017 Cars Will Be The First To Have Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A Auto Chip
Computer chips in cars? Yes, that’s a thing, and it is being showed off quite heavily at CES 2016. In the past, companies used to use CES as the main venue to talk about their latest chips for smartphones and other portable devices, but these companies are looking to different markets now.
With the automotive industry hitting its stride by becoming more reliant on technology, Qualcomm has stepped up to the plate in a bid to change everything. The company announced the Snapdragon 820 Automotive family of products.
At the moment, there’s only two versions of the chip: one called the 820A and the other the 820Am. The latter is different because it adds an LTE modem to the package. These chips are not designed to power your car if that’s what you’re thinking. They are designed for the purpose of in-car navigation and infotainment computer systems that are powered by Android, QNX and Linux.
This chip also supports 4K displays, but we’re not sure if anyone will require a 4K display in his or her car anytime soon. However, it is good to know that Qualcomm is preparing its chips for the future because this will indeed happen.
If we look closely, the Snapdragon 820A is closely related to the Snapdragon 820 SoC that will eventually make it to smartphones and other devices come 2016. Both chips come with Qualcomm’s 64-bit Kryo CPU cores and Adreno 530 GPU for intensive mobile gaming. The chips are of the 14nm variety, so they should give off less heat and make for longer battery time when it comes down to smartphones.
One doesn’t need to worry much about power when these things are incorporated into cars.
The first car manufacturer that will push to have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A or 820Am added to cars is Audi. The company wants them to be a central part of its 2017 lineup. We’re not sure in what way these chips will be used in Audi’s 2017 lineup of cars, but one can be sure that LTE will play a big part.
For those who are wondering, this isn’t the first time Qualcomm has announced chips for use in cars. In the past, these chips were mainly for LTE, but this time around, the new chips can handle deep learning. However, the company is in a tight spot since competition is heating up in the automotive space.
Nvidia has stepped in with the Drive PX 2, the company’s updated platform for self-driving cars. It’s a lunchbox-sized supercomputer, and Qualcomm has nothing to compete on that level for cars.
However, there’s one thing Qualcomm has going for it, and that is more than 20 million cars with its technology inside. Furthermore, the company completed its purchase of Cambridge Silicon Radio last year for a solid $2.4 billion. CSR is a Bluetooth provider for cars, and before it was gobbled up by Qualcomm, it had two-thirds of the market share, so that’s saying a lot about where Qualcomm is headed, and where it is now.