Qualcomm introduced new vision chips, for IoT

03 May, 2018

The Vision Intelligence Platform features Qualcomm’s system-on-chips (SoCs) specifically designed for the Internet of Things. We can now expect new possibilities smart cameras, wearable cameras, VR cameras, smart displays, and more.

Qualcomm, QCOM (NASDAQ), has long led the mobile processors industry and is till date unanimously hailed as one of the big players, if not the biggest in its respective field. But no matter how profitable or innovative this core area has proven to be, the company stands by its logo, which reads on the website “We invent the tech the world loves.”

And apart from mobile chips that turn smartphones into super-computers, who wouldn’t love to take the possibilities of their camera equipment to a whole new level?

Long Story Short

If you’re to busy to get technical, here’s the main idea. The San Diego tech giant is trying to create a platform that will allow cameras of all shorts to communicate with the IoT and perform tasks in real time.

For instance: Say you’ve got a security camera in front of your door and there’s a person outside. How would your camera now if it’s your child who just forgot their keys, or if it’s a burglar trying to break in? And to take it a step further, if it could differentiate the two people, it could act accordingly. In the first case, send a signal to your smart-lock – provided you have one – to let your son in. In the second case, sound an alarm that would notify the local police.

Care for more examples? People who mount a Go Pro on their helmets and go about exploring uncharted territories. Referees trying to decide under extreme low-light conditions whether the ball was out or not. Home owners wanting to have control over their home even when they’re away; even at night.

For all those reasons, the new platform brings together top of the class processing power and AI with superior imaging, hence the introduction of new possibilities in anything from security cameras to robotic vacuum cleaners and drones — any device that relies heavily on information that comes from a camera

Qualcomm’s vice president and product management, Joseph Bousaba stated:

“Our goal is to make IoT devices significantly smarter as we help customers bring powerful on-device intelligence, camera processing and security. AI is already enabling cameras with object detection, tracking, classification and facial recognition, robots that avoid obstacles autonomously, and action cameras that learn and generate a video summary of your latest adventure, but this is really just the beginning. The Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform is the culmination of years of advanced research and development that brings together breakthrough advancements in camera, on-device AI and heterogeneous computing. The platform is a premier launchpad for manufacturers and developers to create a new world of intelligent IoT devices.”

The Tech Specs

At the end of the day, it’s all about creating enough power to process literally ANY kind of image in real time and produce satisfying results. That’s why the Vision Intelligence Platform created this new family of system-on-chips that deliver as promise thanks to the company’s heterogeneous computing. It sports the Octa-Core Qualcomm Kryo 300 CPU, the Adreno 615 GPU, the Qualcomm Hexagon 685 Vector Processor and Qualcomm’s lesser known Spectra 270 ISP. The last two will account for sensors and audio.

All the above leads to a system that can support 4K video at 60 FPS, 5.7K at 30 FPS, and multiple simultaneous streams at lower resolutions, while there will also be advanced electronic Image Stabilization. In terms of connectivity, the platform will be equipped with Bluetooth 5.1 and Integrated 11ac Wi-Fi via WCN3990.

For a deeper insight on the platform’s components and chips, you can check the QCS605 SoC and the QCS603 SoC. The two are quite similar with the main differences being that the 603 is less power consuming has a smaller footprint and inevitably settles for a tad less impressing specs than the 605.

Bottom line is, change does not come overnight. No shelves will showcase any of the cameras described in the above lines. But Qualcomm is already off to a great start to create advanced cameras that will unlock numerous new features or improve existing ones.

How do you feel about the company’s endeavour? Are you a fan of the IoT? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!