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Qualcomm Offers AI-Enabled Chips for Smarter Audio Apps

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Leveraging its unrivaled legacy in audio technology, Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) raised the bar for premium audio features as it launched the QCS400 SoC series with low-power compute capabilities. This is likely to herald a new chapter for smarter audio and IoT applications by integrating highly optimized, AI-enabled solutions in single, power-optimized chip architecture.

Equipped with multiple advanced audio-visual display capabilities, the QCS400 SoCs deliver superior voice-assistant experiences with faster, smarter voice user interface. These include AI-based local automatic speech recognition, multi-keyword far-field voice pickup with beam-forming and echo cancellation, as well as support for cloud-based voice assistants for connected user experiences and impeccable sound quality.

The feature-rich chips are highly interoperable and smart, yet extremely power efficient and are a perfect fit for next-generation smart speakers, home assistants and soundbars. In particular, these chips offer advanced connectivity features with tri-radio co-existence and low-latency audio streaming capability to enable users enjoy music virtually at all places. Compared to other available products in the market, the QCS400 SoCs boast up to 25 times longer standby, with voice wake-up and extended ‘un-plugged’ battery life, delivering uninterrupted playback, along with robust AI-powered voice user interface features.

The new chip series further offers an enticing potential to enrich the sound clarity, richness, detail and depth of Dolby Atmos technology, pioneered by Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (DLB - Free Report) . With richer sound quality, extended battery life and improved voice-assistance capabilities, the QCS400 SoCs will likely support the new-age premium sound bars and Audio-Video Receivers in DTS audio solutions.

At the same time, Qualcomm has rolled out CSRA6640, a highly flexible integrated single-chip amplifier solution for power-efficient speakers that offer truly differentiated audio quality. In addition to enhanced amplification capability, the product brings a new level of integration to make superior class-D amplification more commercially viable on smaller form factors and lower tier products through optimization of materials costs and elimination of additional external components.

Just a few days back, Qualcomm received the first favorable U.S. court verdict from a federal judge in San Diego for a long-standing patent dispute against the iPhone manufacturer. Per the verdict, Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) is liable to pay $31.6 million in damages to Qualcomm for three patent infringements. These patents were allegedly used by Apple to improve the efficiency and reduce the manufacturing costs of iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X models. Apple is currently using Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) chips for its latest models.

Whether a core business focus and favorable verdicts can help Qualcomm turn tables in 2019 and improve its sagging shares remain to be seen. Nevertheless, we remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this stock.

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