Qualcomm unveils connected car reference platform

US mobile chip giant Qualcomm has announced a new reference platform designed to give a boost to the connected car industry.

Reference platforms are a way for chip companies to give a leg-up to manufacturers and developers by integrating the appropriate silicon, drivers, etc into one package that can be more easily integrated into a product. Qualcomm routinely does this with its latest Snapdragon chips, to make it easier for smartphone vendors to use them in their phones.

The Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform includes a couple of LTE modems, a GPS system, a dead reckon system (another way of calculating location), wifi chips, a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) dedicated short range communications system, Bluetooth/BLE and a software-defined radio chip.

“With the Connected Car Reference Platform, Qualcomm Technologies has developed a platform for automakers, module OEM customers, and developers that emphasizes scalability, modularity and security for integrating and managing multiple cutting-edge wireless technologies inside vehicles,” said Nakul Duggal, VP of Product Management at Qualcomm. “We are pleased to introduce this platform to help enable best-in-class advanced connectivity solutions and services in upcoming vehicle designs.”

One of the challenges faced by the connected car industry is that the car development cycle is a lot slower than that of phones, modems, etc, so there’s always the danger that a technology will be obsolete by the time a car comes to market. Now that the smartphone platform duopoly is established, reference platforms like this should enable manufacturers to approach the connected car market with greater confidence and agility.

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