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Qualcomm reveals wireless oriented connected car platform

Jun 13, 2016 — by Eric Brown 1,134 views

Qualcomm announced a pre-integrated suite of automotive hardware components including LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, tuners, CAN, and VSX technology.

In conjunction with last week’s TU-Automotive Detroit conference, Qualcomm unveiled a Connected Car Reference Platform that offers a pre-integrated lineup of the chipmaker’s wireless and telematics solutions. The reference platform even includes DSRC for enabling V2X (vehicle to vehicle or vehicle to infrastructure) technology.

Augmented reality head-up display enabled by the Snapdragon 820A showing V2X communications
(click image to enlarge)

The Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform, which ships by the end of the year, “uses a common framework that scales from a basic telematics control unit (TCU) up to a highly integrated wireless gateway connecting multiple electronic control units (ECUs) within the car supporting critical functions such as over-the-air software upgrades and data collection and analytics,” says Qualcomm.

Specific components include:


  • Snapdragon X12 and X5 LTE modems
  • Quad-constellation GNSS and 2D/3D Dead Reckoning (DR) location solutions
  • Qualcomm VIVE Wi-Fi technology
  • Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Broadcast capabilities such as analog and digital tuner support using software-defined radio via Qualcomm tuneX chips
  • Gigabit (OABR) Ethernet with Automotive Audio Bus (A2B) and Controller Area Network (CAN) interfaces
  • Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) for V2X

The Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform is said to offer a migration path from the current, U.S. Dept. of Transportation approved Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications to future hybrid/cellular V2X (V2V and V2I) technologies. The platform also aims to integrate future 5G radios.

There were few additional details in the announcement, and it’s unclear, for example, whether a Snapdragon SoC such as the automotive-focused Snapdragon 820a will be part of the package. Rival Nvidia offers such a product mix with its Nvidia’s DriveCX and autonomous oriented DrivePX 2, which are based on Tegra processors.

Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon
S820A Platform

Since “Snapdragon” not mentioned in the announcement, aside from mention of “Snapdragon X12 and X5 LTE modems,” it’s possible this is an independent set of devices that can work with a variety of IVI platforms and processors. Many of the same Qualcomm chipsets are available in Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 820a based Snapdragon Automotive Development Platform S820A. There was no mention of OS support or software in the announcement, but if a Snapdragon SoC is involved, it will almost certainly run Linux or Android.

Further information

The Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform will ship in the fourth quarter. More information may be found in Qualcomm’s announcement.

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