From iQ 2011: A Tsunami of Data

By on September 18, 2011
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Dr. Paul Jacobs provided us a brief overview of Qualcomm and where it’s headed.


Qualcomm held their iQ 2011 conference in Istanbul, Turkey where their CEO and Chairman, Dr Paul Jacobs provided an insight on where the technology is headed and what is Qualcomm’s role in it. Qualcomm, as you might or might not know, is a very behinds-the-scene kind of company that drives many forms of technology such as your BlackBerry, your computer and even your Mobile phone operator’s cellular network.

Dr. Jacobs rightly thinks that we will go through a massive explosion of data traffic in the next few years and that Qualcomm is all geared up for it on all levels- from the LTE capabilities that will power a network operator to the SoC (System on Chip) present inside your Smartphone or tablet. On the consumer side you might already own a device that is powered by Qualcomm such as your BlackBerry or an HTC Smartphone. These devices are power by he SnapDragon SoC for which, he showed us a roadmap detailing where it is now and what to expect in the next couple of quarters.

From the slide above, S1 and S2 classes are targeted towards the current low-end to mainstream market products while S3 is for the current generation of higher-end devices. What is most interesting is the upcoming S4 class which shrinks the die to 28nm and increased the cores to four as well as speeds to 2.5GHz. These new generation of SoCs will also have updated GPUs and will be powerful enough to run Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 OS. Expect to see devices powered by the S4 later this year or early next year.

On the software side Dr. Jacobs demoed the Augmented Reality technology that we have seen from Qualcomm before. For his demo, he used 3 DVDs where the cover of the DVDs were matched and a preview of the movies was pulled from the Internet that was watchable on your smartphone. He also demoed gesture based technology which, IMHO, is not necessarily one that has much use on a Smartphone. The video below demonstrates that.

Dr. Jacobs envisions a world where we will be surrounded by many sensors- found on devices such as the washing machine. These sensors will talk to each other and truly offer a connected home or an Internet everywhere experience. He gave an example of how a few years back, you would probably just have a couple of devices with an IP address inside your home but nowadays, everything from your Smartphone to your TV and your tablet are connected.

Outside the consumer technology level, the medical field is also one where Qualcomm is making great strides. Dr. Jacobs envisions that patients will have sensors attached to their bodies that will communicate with our phones and then to the healthcare authority to monitor the state we’re in. The continuous monitoring of our health will alarm the right people if something isn’t right allowing for a very pro-active approach to health system in the near future.

From his speech and vision, it is quite clear that Qualcomm is on top of their game. An end-user might still not recognize their name but they are planning on investing in that as well. However, they are very well positioned in the markets that matter most to their business- inside mobile operators and devices that connect to their networks. They certainly seem ready to tackle the Tsunami of data forecasted for the next couple of years.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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