Qualcomm steps into 2016 with new IoT, SON products

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Qualcomm is aiming to put a difficult 2015 behind it with a range of product announcements at CES, spanning the smart home, Wi-Fi SON and a new LTE modem.

The chipset maker announced a significant restructuring last summer as it looked to respond to the changing technology market.

It made a wide range of announcements at the annual trade fair in Las Vegas, with a new smart home product aiming to provide the likes of computing, voice recognition, audio, display, camera, connectivity and control capabilities for home hubs.

The solution is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 212 processor, with prototypes available to manufacturers from today.

Raj Talluri, Senior Vice-President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, said: “This platform is another excellent example of how we tap into our rich portfolio to build flexible, integrated platforms that support the way people are interacting with their increasingly connected smart homes - both today and in the future.”

The company also gave details on its Wi-Fi SON solution, which it claimed will help consumers and enterprises benefit from a better user experience.

Features include self-configuration, which will offer a "plug and play" deployment, self-management, which lets the Wi-Fi optimise its own performance, automatic healing to resolve connectivity issues, and security.

Qualcomm said it is working with Wi-Fi providers such as Airtight, Asus, D-Link, Linksys and TP-Link to bring the new features to market.

Tenlong Deng, Vice-President, Networking and Wireless devices business unit, Asustek Computer, said: "With multiple Wi-Fi spectrum bands and many technology options, installing and managing home Wi-Fi networks is getting increasingly complex. There is a need to make it easier and more user friendly. We applaud Qualcomm Atheros’ holistic approach in solving this challenge through their Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON solutions that not only simplify the installation, but also maximize the performance of home networks."

Meanwhile, Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X5 LTE modem is being targeted widely at smartphones, mobile broadband devices and the Internet of Things, supporting download speeds of up to 150MBps.

The recently announced MDM9207-1 chip supports multi-mode LTE Category 1 connectivity, which IoT providers can use to connect smart meters, security systems, asset tracking and wearables.

The chip can support demands for low power devices, with two AA batteries being able to last for 10 years of battery life.

The MDM9206 chipset supports even smaller data rates for devices with lower power and longer range requirements.

The X5 and MDM9207-1 will be rolled out to customers later this month with the first products touting them expected by the summer. Qualcomm said the MDM9206 chipset will be released following 3GPP's publication of Release 13, which is exploring Category M1 LTE and NB-IoT standards.

As well as the new range of Snapdragon 820 products aimed at connected cars, Qualcomm also announced a new Bluetooth Smart 4.2 system-on-chip (SoC). The product is aimed at powering always on devices such as smart watches, wireless remote controls and home automation solutions.

The CSR102x family of products includes a service development kit that allows developers to test apps. Over the air updates can help products get the latest software while still in use.

Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoE, Qualcomm Technologies, said: "Bluetooth Smart meets a broad range of product types but designers really want optimised solutions for particular applications to create the best user experience. By providing platforms for specific use cases, we take away the need for developers to make compromises.”