Qualcomm has announced a development platform named Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight, aimed at consumer drones and robotic applications. It is a 58x40mm board powered by the Snapdragon 801 chipset. It will allow features like 4K video processing, navigation support, obstacle avoidance, video stabilisation, Quick Charge, and much more. In short, Qualcomm is planning to make drones smarter.
In an official statement, the company said the platform is powered with some high-end technologies like real-time flight control on Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, built-in Qualcomm 2x2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) optimised for supporting high accuracy location positioning. The Snapdragon Flight will make its debut with a drone made by a company named Yuneec in 2016. Additionally, Qualcomm said that it is available for select OEMs now, but the commercial availability is expected in the first half of 2016. The company is also in talks with other drone manufacturers for using the Snapdragon Flight in their upcoming drones.
The company said that the newly announced platform will not only make the drone smarter, but will also help drone makers build lighter and smaller drones while providing better battery life. The processor used for the platform is quad-core Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.26GHz with Adreno 330 GPU. As reported by Wired, Raj Talluri, Senior Vice President, Qualcomm said that the idea of Snapdragon Flight first emerged more than a year ago and it grew through different conversations and requests the company was having with customers, along with the need in the market.
Drone technology has been growing in the market, and even Google and Facebook are working on drones to achieve greater Internet connectivity. The other companies, which have been reported to show interest in drones are Amazon and Sony.
Apart from working in the drone segment, Qualcomm is working on its upcoming high-end processor Snapdragon 820 SoC. The company unveiled the processor first at MWC earlier this year and has revealed various features like the Hexagon 680 DSP and a real-time malware protection feature called Smart Protect. In a recent leak, the chipset apparently scored 83,774 and 82,307 on AnTuTu benchmark test. There have been rumors about devices like the Sony Xperia Z5 Ultra that might come with the processor.