Qualcomm Announces AI-Ready Industrial and Embedded AI Platforms, Micro-power Wi-Fi SoC

Author photo: Chantal Polsonetti
ByChantal Polsonetti
Company and Product News

Qualcomm has announced a new Wi-Fi system and AI-ready IoT platform targeted at enabling on-device AI, high-performance, low-power processing, and connectivity for the latest IoT products and applications, with initial implementations across segments, such as robotics, manufacturing, asset and fleet management, edge AI boxes, automotive solutions, and more. 

New Micro-Power Wi-F System

AI-Ready IoT

The Qualcomm QCC730, a micro-power Wi-Fi system for IoT connectivity system, is said to provide up to 88% lower power than previous generations and is intended to revolutionize products in battery powered industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. QCC730 will be complemented with an open-source IDE and SDK that supports cloud connectivity offloading for ease of development. Developers can implement the new system as a high-performance alternative to Bluetooth IoT applications for flexible design and direct cloud connectivity. Qualcomm Technologies also offers a family of IoT connectivity products including QCC711, a tri-core ultra-low power BLE SoC, and QCC740, an all-in-one solution supporting Thread, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.  QCC730 also enables devices to support TCP/IP networking capabilities.

New Qualcomm IoT and Embedded Platform, AI Hub

The new Qualcomm RB3 Gen 2 Platform is a comprehensive hardware and software solution designed for IoT and embedded applications. Utilizing the Qualcomm QCS6490 processor, the RB3 Gen 2 promises a combination of high-performance processing, 10x increase in on-device AI processing, support for quadruple 8MP+ camera sensors, computer vision, and integrated Wi-Fi 6E. RB3 Gen 2 is expected to be used in a wide range of products, including various types of robots, drones, industrial handheld devices, industrial and connected cameras, AI edge boxes, intelligent displays, and more. This platform is now available for pre-order in two integrated development kits and supports downloadable software updates to simplify application development, integration, and build proof-of-concepts and prototypes.

The RB3 Gen 2 is also supported in the recently announced Qualcomm AI Hub, which contains a library of continuously refreshed pre-optimized AI models for on-device AI performance, lower memory utilization, and power optimized operation. This allows for an out-of-the-box optimized experience across a variety of broadly used AI models deployed across IoT and embedded applications. Developers can view a selection of models for RB3 Gen 2 and integrate the optimized AI models into their applications, reducing time-to-market and unlocking the benefits of on-device AI implementations, such as immediacy, reliability, privacy, personalization, and cost savings.

Qualcomm Linux, Foundries.io Acquisition

RB3 Gen 2 includes support for Qualcomm Linux—a comprehensive package of OS, software, tools, and documentation designed for Qualcomm Technologies' IoT platforms. It offers a unified Linux distribution that caters to multiple SoCs and features essential components like the Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel to enable a consistent and superior developer experience. The Qualcomm Linux software stack extends support to all processor cores, subsystems, and components within the platform. Qualcomm Linux is currently available for private preview with select collaborators and is planned for wider availability to developers in the coming months.

To expand their open-source expertise and speed product commercialization with Qualcomm Linux, Qualcomm Technologies recently acquired Foundries.io, a provider of an open-source cloud-native platform that abstracts the complexities of developing and updating Linux-based IoT and Edge devices.

Industrial Readiness

Qualcomm Technologies is also introducing an industrial grade platform that will focus on addressing the functional safety and environmental and mechanical handling requirements in industrial applications. This platform will support System Integrity Level certification, vast operating temperature ranges, and industrial module packaging to address the deployment requirements in enterprise and industrial environments. This solution is expected to be available in June 2024 and will feature high performance CPU, GPU, and on-device AI capabilities, advanced safe camera ISP with multi-concurrent camera support, and support for industrial I/O.

Further information on ARC Advisory Group's coverage of Industrial AI's Role in Digital Transformation of Manufacturing Industries is available here.

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