Qualcomm has a plan to make drones smaller, better and cheaper

Qualcomm has unveiled a new class of chip crafted specifically for drones, aptly called Snapdragon Flight.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: mashable.com

Drones may still have some legal hurdles to fly over before they truly arrive, but as a consumer technology, they’ve shown remarkable progress. We’ve gone form bulky, difficult-to-control monstrosities to tiny Millennium Falcon replicas in the span of a few short years.

Now, with a little help from Qualcomm, they’re about to get even better. The chipmaker –- whose Snapdragon mobile processors power many of the world’s top smartphones –- has unveiled a new class of chip crafted specifically for drones, aptly called Snapdragon Flight.  For many drones, its control system can be a hodgepodge of off-the-shelf parts: a CPU for navigation, an image processor for whatever camera is onboard, and more silicon for things like GPS and wireless connectivity. But having multiple components do different things can tax power efficiency, not to mention make the drone physically larger (and thus harder to fly).  Qualcomm saw an opportunity to make things better, since it’s been working on combining functionality in smartphone chips for years. For Snapdragon Flight, the company is more or less repurposing the same Snapdragon 800 system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors for drones, since it’s already done the heavy lifting of integrating a CPU with GPS, wireless connectivity, image processing and more on smartphones.   If you take one of our Snapdragon processors, it pretty much does everything,” says Raj Talluri, Qualcomm’s senior vice president of product management for IoE (Internet of Everything). “It flies, it takes 4K video — it does all the things that high-end $1,000 drones do, except you do it with one processor. It’s a huge advantage.”  One of the main areas of improvement in drones is flight time,

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