Qualcomm, one of the most famous manufacturers of smartphone chips, has announced that it is entering the drone computer market by promising smarter and cheaper drones.
To prove its point, the American company announced the Snapdragon Flight, the first Snapdragon SoC (System-on-a-Chip) built for the skies. Based on the now ominous and famous Snapdragon 801, the very chip that powers your high-end Android phone, the Snapdragon Flight includes a quad-core 2.26GHz processor, a digital signal processor that stands as a real-time flight controller, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Additionally, the SoC will contain a Global Navigation Satelite System receiver and even 4K video processing. All in all, it seems to be a pretty amazing chip for all drone enthusiasts out there.
As we all know, the drone rage skyrocketed over the past couple of years, moving from the DIY drones made by enthusiasts to factory-built models that sell like hotcakes in the US.
Recently, people have started to do all sorts of crazy things with drones, like shooting guns, fishing, and even flying. Right now, the drone market acts just like any young market, maintaining a separation between high-powered expensive drones and cheap toys. If Qualcomm steps in and offers powerful hardware for an affordable price, it could make a lot of money and fill in the intermediary gap between expensive and cheap drones.
Qualcomm makes a smart move at the moment, since drones don’t offer many features, like visual fidelity or smart tech. They only need to have powerful motors, and long battery life, and based on these two features, drone prices vary dramatically. Obviously, built-in features, like HD cameras and great communication capabilities that they may come with, greatly inflate their price, but most enthusiasts prefer to get a good chassis so they could tweak it later with better add-ons.
It’s clear now that the drone market will grow even more if affordability and performance come together, so we can only wait and see how this trend will evolve in the near future.