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With the Snapdragon 602A, Qualcomm looks to improve the connected car

Sarah Silbert
January 6, 2014
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In addition to announcing a version of its Snapdragon 800 processor tweaked for your home theater, Qualcomm is introducing a chip made specifically for in-car entertainment. The Snapdragon 602A, unsurprisingly, shares several specs with the Snapdragon 600 chip seen in mobile devices, but it's made to meet the automotive industry's requirements for temperature, longevity and more. It also packs in plenty of additional tech, which we'll get to in a minute.

Qualcomm's been involved in the connected-car space for about a decade, with 3G and 4G modules to show for it. Though it offers Gobix 9x15 3G/4G LTE modules along with WiFi and Bluetooth, the 602A is ambitious on more than just the connectivity front: The chip will initially power infotainment -- serving multiple video streams to numerous screens in your car, for instance -- but will pave the way for more advanced connectivity and safety features. For example, facial-recognition support could let you start the car by looking in a camera, and gesture recognition could enable a smarter backup cam.

As with the Snapdragon 802, the goal behind the 602A is to bring the dynamic app experience of smartphones and tablets to a different environment. This means improved 3D navigation, cloud-based software and integration with mobile devices, among many other things. Support for both Android and QNX gives carmakers options for building their own infotainment systems that comply with the automotive industry's requirements, as well. Qualcomm hasn't mentioned a timeframe at this point, but we have it on good authority that such an announcement is coming this week.

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