Cars are going to be a big deal for technology companies in 2016, and Qualcomm is no different. The microprocessor manufacturer has announced two new Snapdragon 820 Automotive processors for the coming year, one of which even integrates an X12 LTE modem capable of category 12 speeds.
The Snapdragon 820A is the baseline model and is powered by a custom 64-bit Qualcomm Kyro CPU paired with a Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU. The GPU provides the processor with a 40-percent improvement in graphics and another 40-percent increase in power efficiency, while the CPU provides up to 85-percent better performance than its predecessor. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 82Am is the same processor; but with an additional Snapdragon X12 modem installed.
Machine learning is a big part of vehicular technology, and the new Snapdragon 820A and 820Am both support Qualcomm’s Zeroth machine learning platform. This essentially allows the car to identify threats while on the road. The Snapdragon 820Am on the other hand expands this further by providing driver assistance with lane departure warnings, vehicle detection for front collision warnings, and traffic sign recognition. All thanks to the connection provided by the LTE modem; although to be fair, these features are not entirely new on cars.
The on-chip image signal processors support four to eight automotive camera sensors, while the intelligent rear view camera uses advanced computer vision to detect objects while backing up.
Qualcomm expects to begin sending out hardware samples in the first quarter, which means that it might be a while before we see the Snapdragon 820A appearing in cars.