Qualcomm is powering many smartphones these days, one of which includes the recently released Nexus 5. In that case we are looking at a 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800, however there are many others such as the HTC One, which sports a Snapdragon 600. While we mention that quite a few devices are running on Qualcomm power these days, that just speaks to their Q4 2013 earnings report, which in this case is showing a revenue of $6.48 billion.
Qualcomm's outspoken Chief Marketing Officer Anand "Things That Are Dumb" Chandrasekher has been demoted, in a way, after stating that Apple's 64-bit system-on-a-chip, the A7, is a "gimmick." He wasn't fired, just reassigned, but he is no longer listed as being on the leadership team on the Qualcomm website, and the company has publicly censured Chandrasekher. The reasons for Chandrasekher's criticism and for Qualcomm's ensuing response are of both a technical and a political nature.
The team responsible for bringing on next-generation innovation to Qualcomm have initiated an oddity by the name of Qualcomm Zeroth. These processor units are "brain-inspired computing" made real, pushing the limits of what it means for a bit of hardware to anticipate your needs and share our perception of the world naturally. Qualcomm's Research and Development teams have been working on architecture here that they say "breaks the traditional mold" my mimicking the human brain and nervous system.
Qualcomm is readying a new kind of artificial brain chip, dubbed neural processing units (NPUs), modeling human cognition and opening the door to phones, computers, and robots that could be taught in the same ways that children learn. The first NPUs are likely to go into production by 2014, CTO Matt Grob confirmed at the MIT Technology Review EmTech conference, with Qualcomm in talks with companies about using the specialist chips for artificial vision, more efficient and contextually-aware smartphones and tablets, and even potentially brain implants.
When Apple unveiled its new iPhone 5S it excitedly grabbed the distinction of using the first 64-bit processor in a smartphone. It didn't take long for Samsung to step up and say that it would be using 64-bit processors and some of its future devices. Samsung hasn't offered any further details on when it might begin using 64-bit processors, but according to a QUALCOMM executive there may not be any real benefit to using them now.
Qualcomm former executive vice president, Jing Wang, has been indicted by the U.S. government for obstruction of a federal investigation and for the use of insider information in a financial scheme for tax evasion and ill-gotten wealth. The former executive is no longer working at Qualcomm, reports Reuters, and was arrested earlier today by the FBI.
The Qualcomm Vuforia Augmented Reality platform is just one of many impressive technologies that the San Diego based company has in the works, and this week we they showed off a brand new addition. We've seen Vuforia in the past, making magazines and books come to life on our mobile devices, but at Uplinq they revealed Smart Terrain. Which brings your living room landscape right into your mobile game.
This afternoon Qualcomm announced their own wireless home audio streaming platform. It's called AllPlay, and is designed to allow users the option to wirelessly stream music to any room or speaker throughout their home, separately. Not only that, but the platform uses AllJoyn, so you can stream music from multiple sources and apps as well.
The folks from Qualcomm don't have a track record of making their own hardware, but today they shocked everyone at their annual Uplinq developer event and announced the Toq smartwatch. Powered by a 2.1-inch low power Mirasol display, they promise it can last for days, and is always on. Below we have plenty of pictures, and even tried this comfy and low profile watch on for a minute.