September 11, 2015
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Snapdragon Flight Drone

Not content with powering a huge number of devices in our collective pockets, Qualcomm wants to take to the skies with its newly announced Snapdragon Flight platform, specifically designed for consumer drones and robotics.

The platform features various bits of technology that will be very familiar to those who follow mobile hardware. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 is powering the board, complete with four Krait CPU cores clocked at 2.26GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU. The 58x40mm board also features Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology, 4K video capture and dual camera support, dual-band 2×2 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and GNSS location capabilities.

“The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight brings together the technologies that have defined the mobile industry onto a single board, enabling OEMs to build drones that are lighter, smaller, easy to use and affordable with long battery life and superior functionalities.” – Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies

Snapdragon Flight is designed to help simplify and lower the costs of drone development, while offering cutting edge features such as 1080p 60fps video capture and computer image processing capabilities. In the future, Qualcomm plans to support 4G LTE dongles too, which means that drones built on this platform will be able to send data, such as image, back to users over regular LTE networks and may also eventually be able to use carrier networks to control them.

Radiant Insights suggests that the global commercial drone market will expand from $609 million in 2014 to $4.8 billion by 2021, so Qualcomm could be well placed to capitalize on this market growth with its Flight platform. Snapdragon Flight is available today for select OEMs, and is expected to be powering commercial drones on the shelves by 1H 2016.

Robert Triggs
Lead Technical Writer at Android Authority, covering the latest trends in consumer electronics and hardware. In his spare moments, you'll probably find him tinkering with audio electronics and programming.
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