It’s Qualcomm’s turn in the Las Vegas spotlight at CES. After outing the first smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 820 – as well as their Sense ID technology – Qualcomm has now announced a new processor. It’s the Snapdragon 820A. As the name notes, this is a high-end processor for cars and trucks. It’s replacing the Snapdragon 602A which was announced two years ago (oddly enough, it was announced today that Audi is using the Snapdragon 602A in their 2017 fleet of vehicles).
Seeing as this is the Snapdragon 820A, as you’d expect the processor does get quite a few benefits as their flagship Snapdragon 820 chipset. This includes it being built on a 14nm FinFET advanced process, also being a 64-bit Kryo CPU, along with the Adreno 530 GPU. It also boasts speeds of up to 600Mbps over LTE. Great for those cars that have AT&T’s 4G LTE inside. The Snapdragon 820A also uses Qualcomm’s Zeroth machine intelligence, which can be used to build navigation and infotainment products. These will also learn over time.
Also notable is the fact that the Snapdragon 820A will indeed support Android Auto, Apple’s Carplay as well as QNX. Qualcomm is also touting the fact that car makers are able to send out updates over the air to their customers when needed. Qualcomm is looking to start sampling the Snapdragon 820A as early as the first quarter (which ends on March 31st). With the auto industry being as slow as it is (probably a good thing that it’s not as fast as the mobile industry), we likely won’t see the Snapdragon 820A in cars until the end of the year. Qualcomm didn’t announce any partners for the Snapdragon 820A just yet, that will likely come later this year, after sampling has been done. There are a few concept cars that are using the Snapdragon 820A on display at CES 2016, so we should be able to get some hands on time with that later on this week when the show floor opens up.
Processors for cars and such don’t get updated as much as mobile processors. And that’s due to the amount of time it takes to implement these processors and get them out on the road. Audi is just now beginning to use their Snapdragon 602A processor, which was announced in 2014. So that should definitely tell you how long it could take to see the Snapdragon 820A on the road.