Qualcomm struts its stuff at Uplinq
Qualcomm showed why its the industry leader at its Uplinq conference
For many of you out there, Qualcomm is just the name of the company that sponsors the Chargers’ stadium but if you’re using a smartphone in the United States, there’s a good chance you’re using some form of Qualcomm’s technology. At its Uplinq conference this week, the company unveiled a series of initiatives which could help it cement its lead.
If you do know Qualcomm for its mobile tech, it’s probably because of its Snapdragon mobile processors. These power a variety of Android and BlackBerry smartphones and it is the only processor that works with the Windows Phone software. This is becoming an increasingly crowded market, though.
NVIDIA has grown like a weed with its Tegra series and this powered the recent Nexus 7 tablet, which is being heavily pushed by Google. Intel has a much larger brand awareness with average people and it recently released its first smartphone processors. Samsung and Texas Instruments have also been making processors for years and are worthy rivals.
Qualcomm’s networking past gives it some intrinsic advantages though, as it is quick to say that it can design a system in a more holistic way rather than just licensing ARM and slapping together other components (this doesn’t apply to Intel or some others). For example, NVIDIA will often take shots by saying its Tegra 3 chip can do better graphics than the Snapdragon. Qualcomm counters this by saying its chips can do a better job over a longer period of time and it will keep the devices cooler. To really put an emphasis on this, it puts out videos showing that some of its competitors’ devices can get so hot that it melts butter.
Being able to approach mobile computing in a holistic way also leads to interesting initiatives like the partnership with Akamai. Akamai is a leading content delivery network (basically, they help to power many websites) and Qualcomm believes this partnership could lead to a much faster mobile browsing experience. When you combine this with increased mobile data networks, Snapdragon-powered smartphones could deliver an amazing mobile browsing experience.
We saw a few examples of its upcoming S4 Snapdragon on tablets and the reference hardware provided some jaw-dropping visuals. What I really appreciate is that Qualcomm is also paying attention to seemingly-small details like sound recording. You can record a great 1080p HD video but without the proper sound, it can lose something.
Qualcomm is also slowly branching out to see if it can leverage its mobile technology expertise to grow new businesses. For example, it launched the Gimbal SDK and this provides app developers an easy way to tap into a phone’s sensors without having to do a ton of work. With Gimbal, a restaurant chain could quickly implement geo-fencing and personalization features in an app without having to spend a lot of time or money to do it. I also like that Qualcomm insists on giving the end user complete control over their privacy in the end product.
In: Smartphone · Tagged with: Qualcomm, struts, stuff, Uplinq