Qualcomm has today announced its attention to include support for Android Things on Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor that include an X5 LTE modem. According to the details, Qualcomm anticipates Snapdragon processors boasting Android Things support to be available “later this year”. While no specific dates were mentioned, Qualcomm notes that the relevant Snapdragon processors will be “the world’s first commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions to offer integrated 4G LTE support for this OS”.
Android Things is an OS which is somewhat purpose-designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) market and allows devices which typically do not need such demanding hardware to make use of a variant of Android. Shortly after the launch of the first developer preview of Android Things, Qualcomm announced that they planned to help facilitate a “rapid, scalable, security-focused” development of IoT solutions through the use of the Android Things OS. Today’s announcement seems to be an extension of that earlier commitment. According to Qualcomm Technologies’ VP for Business Development, Jeffery Torrance, the inclusion of Android Things support on Snapdragon processors means that “developers are now able to create cost-effective, innovative connected devices and applications for both consumer and industrial IoT segments”. A move which Torrance further goes on to note “will help accelerate and expand the development of the overall IoT ecosystem”. While manufacturers will be able to benefit from a quicker way to “quickly create and commercialize a variety of connected devices”.
According to Qualcomm, one of the clear benefits here comes down to the integrated 4G LTE connectivity. In particular, this connectivity will allow for IoT devices that come powered by an Android Things-supported Snapdragon 210 processor to deliver high-performance multimedia processing, in addition to being better-equipped to compute power. While also more effectively offering support for natural language processing, database queries, data processing and more, and all while on the fly. That is, they will be able to benefit from performing all of these actions on the device locally, instead of having to make use of cloud computing. Which in turn will assist in saving data transfer costs, improved application response, and greater security. With Qualcomm adding, that the use of the Snapdragon 210 in such scenarios will also be ideal for higher-volume use cases including consumer and industrial applications, due to its cost-effectiveness. Those who are attending MWC 2017 will be able to see today’s announcement in action as Qualcomm has also confirmed it will be demonstrating the Snapdragon 210 support for Android Things at this year's event.