Leading manufacturer of wireless chipsets based on baseband technology, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Analyst Report) , is forging ahead with its innovative plans to fortify its hold in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. Recently, Qualcomm’s subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. announced the launch of its two new Snapdragon processors – 600E and 410E – for embedded applications such as digital signage, set-top-boxes, medical imaging, point of sale systems, industrial robotics and other IoT-related applications.
This launch reflects Qualcomm’s vision to expand beyond its traditional market of smartphones into the IoT market. However, this launch marks Qualcomm’s first offering of Snapdragon products through third-party distributors. Initially, CO-based Arrow Electronics – an American Fortune 500 company – will be distributing the products. Qualcomm is also looking forward to working with other distributors going ahead. The company is also eyeing expansion in new industries through wireless connectivity on the IoT platform. The main purpose of bringing in distributors was to allow manufacturers of all sizes access numerous processors for embedded computing and IoT products and thus expand its potential customer base.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor is best known for its versatility in IoT applications. The latest launch will help the company serve a broader range of customers with additional support, durability and availability. The company further intends to introduce one of the latest advancements in technology and connections with Snapdragon 600E and 410E to meet the varied demands of consumer, enterprise and industrial categories. The Snapdragon embedded portfolio includes development boards, commercial-ready modules and discrete processors for chipsets.
The Snapdragon 600E supports a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 CPU (central processing unit), Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU (graphics processing unit) and Qualcomm Hexagon DSP (digital signal processor). In terms of connectivity, it enables Bluetooth (4.0, Low Energy, and 3.x), Wi-Fi up to 802.11ac and GPS for connected applications. It can be used for a variety of use cases with SATA, SD3.0, DDR memory, eMMC storage, HDMI, LVDS, HSIC and PCIe interfaces.
The Snapdragon 410E supports a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with a Qualcomm Adreno 306 GPU and Qualcomm Hexagon DSP. It offers high performance, low power consumption and rich multimedia. It also supports Bluetooth (4.1 and Low Energy), Wi-Fi up to 802.11n and GPS. As it lacks the 600E’s modularity, it has been designed for single-purpose applications of IoT such as smart homes, digital signage, medical equipment, industrial automation, digital media players and smart surveillance.
IoT & Drone Advancements
In Sep 2016, U.S. telecom behemoth Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Analyst Report) entered into a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. which will see Verizon's IoT platform, ThingSpace, being integrated into Qualcomm Technologies' MDM9206 Category M LTE modem.
Recently, Qualcomm teamed up with AT&T Inc.(T - Analyst Report) to evaluate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones on commercial 4G LTE networks. Notably, the trial will put the safety and security of drones on 4G LTE and 5G networks to test. The UAS test will be carried out on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight drone development platform and is scheduled to begin later in Sep 2016 at Qualcomm Technologies' San Diego Campus in an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)-authorized UAS Flight Center.
Zacks Rank and Stock to Consider
Qualcomm currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked telecommunication stock is Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. The current year earnings estimates for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation rose 7.02% over the last 60 days.
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