Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight Chip To Power Next Gen Drones

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Snapdragon Flight will make consumer drones smarter and capable of capturing 4K video

Qualcomm has released a new chip which it says can make sure the next generation of consumer drones are smarter and more powerful than any out there today.

The Snapdragon Flight SoC (pictured below) has been specifically designed for drones and other robotic units and will allow the capture of 4K video.

The chip, which is based on a Snapdragon 801 smartphone processor, includes a 2.26GHz quad-core Krait CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Quick Charge function, and support for GPS networks, and is expected to be shipping with new drones by next year.

‘Superior’

snapdragon-flight“Today, drones are made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications, adding to the cost and bulk of consumer drones,” said Raj Talluri, Qualcomm’s senior vice president of product management.

“The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight brings together the technologies that have defined the mobile industry onto a single board, enabling OEMs to build drones that are lighter, smaller, easy to use and affordable with long battery life and superior functionalities.”

Qualcomm also announced that Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec will be one of the first companies to benefit from using Snapdragon Flight, with a drone from the company being released in 2016. This marks the second major endorsement for Yuneec’s products in the last few weeks after Intel invested $60 million (£38.74m) in the company to help develop future products.

The news marks Qualcomm as the latest major company to enter the field of drone development, which is growing rapidly by the month.

Previous entrants include Nokia Networks, which earlier this month announced a scheme to show that drones carrying smartphones equipped with network testing applications can be used to test the network performance, run network optimisation actions, inspect towers and test radio planning and line-of-sight between radio towers.

The most notable proponent of the technology so far has been Amazon, which is also set to launch its Prime Air scheme within the next few years.

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