Qualcomm held its first automotive investor day final week, and Qualcomm displayed how its automotive enterprise matches into its general one-technology roadmap. You’ll be able to learn my protection of Cristiano Amon’s keynote and my feedback on Qualcomm’s monetary speaking factors right here.

On the finish of Amon’s keynote and for his introduction of Nakul Duggal, Senior Vice President and Common Supervisor of Qualcomm Automotive, Amon referred to Duggal as “the star of the present” and himself as “overhead.” For the CEO of an organization to present this excessive of regard is really particular.

I chatted with Duggal at its investor day overlaying the related, clever and software-driven way forward for automotive. A lot of what Duggal talks about in tour chat instantly pertains to the place Qualcomm is true now and the way Amon can name its Automotive Investor Day its ‘Commencement day,” however extra importantly, the longer term.

Qualcomm’s automotive play is natural

Duggal has been with Qualcomm since 1995 and began within the automotive enterprise virtually a decade in the past in 2012. Qualcomm’s function within the automotive early on was to supply automotive computing elements. Because the automotive trade transforms to change into a digitally related trade, it developments in the direction of a lot of what Qualcomm affords in different markets.

What Qualcomm has carried out is look into its IP portfolio throughout connectivity, computing, and software program and implement overlapping applied sciences that match the digitally reworking automotive market.

Over the previous 5 years, Qualcomm has constructed out its automotive enterprise based mostly on its one know-how roadmap. Qualcomm’s one know-how roadmap is its technique to create applied sciences that may scale up into different markets. Whether or not that’s in connectivity, computing, or software program, Qualcomm builds its know-how on a scalable structure. Qualcomm has adopted applied sciences from what it has carried out with smartphones. If the identify “Snapdragon Digital Chassis” doesn’t ring a bell, Snapdragon is the identify of Qualcomm’s cell SoC platform. One of many causes Duggal says that Qualcomm’s automotive enterprise is natural is as a result of most of the automotive digital developments are comparable or the identical because the cell developments.

Because the automotive trade transforms digitally, automakers do not need the potential to deal with these digital developments. Duggal addressed the pattern of how automobiles must be extra conscious and clever of its surrounding. It must be related to networks that present environmental and security info. Autos require low latency and all the time related infrastructure. Autos are additionally reworking in the direction of an electrified chassis, and it’s accelerating the necessity for {an electrical} structure or a software-defined automobile, which Qualcomm refers to as a Digital Chassis. The automobile structure of the previous consisted of a distributed microcontroller-centric structure whereas the longer term software-defined automobile adopts extra of an built-in and simplified structure.

This new software-defined structure resembles numerous what we see within the cell world, the place Qualcomm is a frontrunner in cell SoCs. Whereas this new software-defined automobile structure seems to be to kick out automakers, I imagine it does simply the alternative. Duggal identified how the software-defined automobile permits the automaker model to be on the middle of the automobile with automaker-controlled providers and software program. I imagine that is extremely disruptive for the automotive trade as a result of it unlocks an entire different income supply of providers. As Duggal stated, “it’s on the tip of the iceberg” referring to the potential automobile providers have on digitally remodeled autos.


Duggal talked about that Qualcomm’s whole addressable market throughout the automotive trade might be $100 billion by the tip of 2030 and that Qualcomm already has a design-win pipeline of $30 billion.

Automotive connectivity is a pivotal know-how within the digital transformation of autos. Software program-defined autos hook up with the cloud, via WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and 5G, Mobile V2x and lots of different connectivity requirements. With out these connectivity requirements, software-defined autos could be restricted in offering security options, person experiences, atmosphere consciousness capabilities, and a plethora of digitally remodeled providers.

Qualcomm’s expertise and management in connectivity translate to its management in automotive connectivity. Qualcomm is already and chief in automotive connectivity with over 250 million autos with Qualcomm’s mobile connectivity and extra transitioning to 5G connectivity. Qualcomm has additionally pioneered the Mobile-vehicle to all the things(C-V2X) customary. C-V2X is a high-speed, low-latency connectivity for autos to hook up with all the things in order that autos are related to autos, individuals, infrastructure, and even pedestrians. Duggal talked about that we’re beginning to see C-V2X in a number of markets.

One energy that I imagine makes Qualcomm distinctive and capable of execute some of these requirements and even do it years forward of what’s deliberate is Qualcomm’s deal with relationships. For those who observed at Automotive Investor Day, Qualcomm had many big-name audio system sprinkled all through the occasion from BMW, BYD Auto, GM, Google, Nice Wall Motors, and Honda.

#1 in digital cockpit

The know-how that’s most acquainted to automakers could be the digital cockpit. The digital cockpit is the modern-day “dashboard” with an enhanced person expertise. Qualcomm began its digital cockpit journey in 2017 and is in its 4th technology SoC with extra integration.

What Qualcomm is doing with its digital cockpit is what could be known as ambient intelligence within the IoT area. Qualcomm is introducing security and person expertise options into its digital cockpit that improve the digital cockpit for the riders.

That is similar to the SoC of a smartphone and what Qualcomm is doing with cell units. Qualcomm has groups which have labored on cell digital camera ISPs that at the moment are engineering these ISPs with the identical know-how and IP to scale up and meet the protection necessities of a automobile. As Qualcomm has built-in extra into each technology of its automotive SoC, it has opened extra tiers of the SoC in order that automakers can select inexpensive and luxurious SoCs.

These tiers usually are not solely differentiated for within the cabin with the digital cockpit but in addition with superior driver help programs (ADAS) and automatic driving (AD) from degree 1( L1) with security options to degree 5 (L5) with totally automated driving. Qualcomm acquired Arriver round this time final 12 months, and you may learn my protection of Qualcomm’s ADAS announcement right here. Qualcomm’s Journey and Journey Imaginative and prescient System are designed with modularity in order that these completely different tiered ADAS and AD programs might be co-designed with automakers and even upgraded down the street.

Qualcomm launched the trade’s first unified automotive SoC structure that mixes help, automated driving, and networking capabilities on one software-defined structure. Qualcomm has made it scalable for increased and decrease finish autos. Whereas Duggal stated extra might be shared at CES 2023, I imagine this announcement reveals the second of Qualcomm’s automotive enterprise.

Differentiated software program

Duggal identified that one main distinction between the cell platform and the automotive platform is that, alongside common objective software program, automotive should accommodate for security software program. Duggal stated, “not like within the cell area, the place it’s principally a silicon dialog, in automotive, it’s silicon plus an amazing quantity of platform software program. I imagine this understanding is important, not just for the success of the digital cockpit but in addition the protection of the automobile. It took Qualcomm years to tune and et proper how platform software program reacts and matches on high of present integrations. One instance that Duggal gave was what would occur when an Android app crashes. If it crashes and takes the remainder of the system down with it in movement, it turns into an enormous drawback.

Qualcomm with its platform software program then turns into the host for a number of markets and geographical places. Qualcomm may take its platform software program and observe compliance and security protocols inside that space and do the identical factor in one other space. The identical is true for automakers to distinguish themselves throughout the cockpit with software program, apps, and providers on high of Qualcomm’s platform software program.

Though Qualcomm’s automotive enterprise is natural, it didn’t come and not using a calculated technique and considered how you can implement present IP. The digital automotive play is inconceivable with out cautious consideration of security necessities, each for {hardware}, software program, and connectivity. Whereas ideas and concepts don’t simply come from the higher-ups, the execution of it’s from the thought management of Qualcomm Automotive. And, sure, I’m you Duggal.

Wrapping up

Qualcomm has proven that it’s able to scaling its know-how into the digitally remodeled automotive market and meet the protection necessities wanted. I imagine Duggal, the $30B man, and thought management have strategically positioned Qualcomm to organically tackle this new market with present scalable know-how and partnerships that result in design wins.

Qualcomm’s management in connectivity has enabled it to pioneer in new automotive connectivity applied sciences like C-V2X. Its management in high-performance, low energy computing and strategic acquisition of Arriver has enabled it to speed up its ADAS/AD choices, and I imagine it has been strategic with implementing security into its software program stack. Commencement day for Qualcomm Automotive reveals appreciable promise and now I’m excited to see extra of Qualcomm’s totally built-in SoC at CES 2023. Nice job Duggal and Qualcomm Automotive.

Notice: Moor Insights & Technique co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this text.

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