Qualcomm: Mobile Technology Powerhouse
Have you heard of Qualcomm before? If not then I am willing to bet that you have used one of their products and not even realized it. Qualcomm is an industry leader in developing mobile technology. They research, develop and sell products including mobile processors, cellular modems, Bluetooth technologies and WiFi products. Many smart phones utilize Qualcomm hardware such as their Snapdragon processor, Snapdragon low-energy Bluetooth chips and Q series WiFi network adapters. Not only do they make mobile technology for phones, but they also make products for vehicles, allowing for features such as Apple Car Play and In-Vehicle WiFi. Lets take a deeper look into some of the innovations that Qualcomm has produced.
One of the most popular hardware products that Qualcomm sells are mobile processors for cell phones and wearable tech such as smart watches. The processor is essentially the brain of a device, relaying information and syncing all of the components together that attach to the motherboard. Qualcomm provides this for many different cell phone manufacturers. Some of the phone brands include Samsung, Asus, Motorola, LG, Google, HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, OnePlus, Sony, HP, Huawei, Kyocera, Alcatel, and Lenovo. They also provide the processors for smart watches sold by Puma, Fossil, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, and Asus. There are over 17 different models of the Snapdragon processor, ranging from the original Snapdragon 200 up to the newest Snapdragon 865 processor.
When you hear the word "modem", it is likely that you think of the modem at your house, that connects to your router for internet access. A modem simply translates a communication signal into a usable network for devices. Cell phones also have modem chips in them to translate the radio frequencies from cellular towers into data that your phone can upload and download, creating the communication link. Most recently, Qualcomm has broken through with next generation technology that utilizes 5G technology. This is backwards compatible, so even if you are in an area without 5G, it will still run on LTE, 4G or any older network that you may be picking up.
There are a variety of products that utilize Bluetooth technology. These can range from smart watches and headphones, to home security systems, soundbars, vehicle radios, and gaming controllers. Qualcomm has a variety of different chips that each have a specialty focus. For example, they have 3 different chips specifically for audio. There is a cVc noise cancellation chip for noise cancelling headphones. There is also a TrueWireless stereo chip for optimal surround sound listening. The aptX audio is ideal for enhancing quality in devices with smaller speakers such as smartphones and tablets.
In addition, Bluetooth devices using Qualcomm hardware can become a mesh network. This means that your devices can connect to each other to creating a longer range of use for Bluetooth. Say you are in your bedroom, and you cannot connect to the speakers in the living room. You have another Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen between you and the living room. You can connect to the kitchen speaker, and this will extend your Bluetooth range, allowing you to connect to the one in the living room.
In addition to these, Qualcomm also develops the Bluetooth hardware for many smartwatches and gaming controllers. These utilize a unique low energy chip, since they are rechargeable devices. Using less energy means that you will have to recharge them less.
The last piece of Bluetooth technology that Qualcomm utilizes is for automotive. This allows your phone to sync to your car, as well as your remote key fob. These chips are designed for long range remote key access, HD voice call quality, and audio with the lowest levels of latency.
Qualcomm also has a range of products relating to WiFi wireless technologies. These range from high speed connections for mobile phones, to automotive uses including in-vehicle hot-spots. They create chips for routers that transmit the signals, as well as the devices that receive the signals, allowing them to transfer data back and forth.
Similar to some of their Bluetooth chips, Qualcomm also make low-power WiFi chips. These are used in many smart devices such as smart plugs, smart lights, power strips, locks, and just about anything in the smart home network that can be controlled though a hub such as your smartphone via WiFi connection.
It is amazing what some of the technologies that we use have evolved to. Many of these have come from research and development at Qualcomm. Next time you make an electronics purchase, look at the specs of it. Not all of them are using Qualcomm technology, but it may surprise you how many of them are.