In an effort to move beyond the mobile chip market, Qualcomm Corp. (QCOM) unveiled its latest high end chip—the Snapdragon 835-- which the mobile semiconductor company is aiming at the connected devices market.

At CES 2017, the consumer electronics show held each year in Las Vegas, Qualcomm unveiled the chip, which not only improves the performance of the next generation of smartphones but includes the ability to support augmented reality and virtual reality, boasts a longer battery life and smaller footprint, which will be attractive to makers of Internet connected devices, otherwise known as Internet of Things (IoT).

Looking Beyond Phones

According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 835 is 35% smaller in package size and consumes 25% less power compared to its previous-generation flagship processor, which it says equates to longer battery life and thinner designs. (See also: Qualcomm’s Newest Chipset Details Leaked.)

“Our new flagship Snapdragon processor is designed to meet the demanding requirements of mobile virtual reality and ubiquitous connectivity while supporting a variety of thin and light mobile designs,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies Inc., in a press release unveiling the new semiconductor. “The Snapdragon 835 has an unprecedented level of technology integration that supports superior battery life, improved multimedia, and exceptional photography with gigabit class speeds for fast, immersive experiences.”

835’s First Users Announced

In conjunction with the launch of the new chip, Qualcomm said Osterhout Design Group, a developer and manufacturer of mobile head-worn computing and augmented reality technologies’ latest smartglasses, will have the Snapdragon 835 processor inside. In a Wall Street Journal report, a spokesman at Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 835 processor will also be used in a new voice-enabled home appliance and a smart baby monitor.

The launch of the Snapdragon 835, with a focus on connected devices rather than just smartphones, comes at a time when Qualcomm is thinking beyond the handset market. With the smartphones market getting saturated in the U.S. and abroad, Qualcomm has no choice but to look for other areas for growth. The IoT market holds a lot of promise for Qualcomm and its chip, which is why it has been making a big push there.  

In September, Qualcomm, along with Ericsson (ERIC) and some other technology firms joined Avanci, a patent-licensing clearinghouse. The goal is to make it easier for manufactures of IoT products to embed cellular technology in their devices. (See also: Qualcomm Joins IoT Patent Clearinghouse.)



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