“The smartphone is, no hype, the largest technology platform in history.” So Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs opens IQ2011, the company’s yearly innovation showcase. SlashGear is in Istanbul today to hear how one of the biggest chipset companies expects to take on arch-rivals NVIDIA and Texas Instruments with processors that will show up in tomorrow’s smartphones and tablets.
All eyes are on ARM-based processors at the moment, with Apple’s wildly successful iOS platform and Google’s fast-growing Android both taking advantage of chips using technology such as in Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon range. Beyond that, though, Microsoft has promised Windows 8 on ARM for a new generation of long-running, power-sipping slates.
A big part of Qualcomm’s focus will be emerging markets, Jacobs says. There are currently 5.7bn mobile connections made worldwide, and four out of every five are from emerging market regions. Still, there’s plenty of room for high-powered chips that target flagships from companies like HTC and Sony Ericsson.
“People expect no compromise, they expect that desktop experience in the palm of their hand” Jacobs concludes, describing the web as “a megatrend.” “There are devices out there today which bring you the web, but they don’t bring you the full web” the CEO suggested, perhaps a slight snub to Apple’s Flash-free iOS experience. Whether Qualcomm has the tech to deliver a viable alternative, we’ll have to wait and see.