Future vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820Am automotive connectivity solution, according to an announcement made at CES 2018. The chipset and accompanying platform will allow Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicles to employ 4G LTE Advanced, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi without the need for any additional hardware, adding in connectivity to both the internet and to local devices for infotainment purposes. This connectivity, and all of the power found in the Snapdragon 820 mobile chipset along with some additional features for the automotive market, will allow seamless connected experiences within the vehicle. Optional rear entertainment screens will also run through the platform, allowing passengers a wide range of entertainment options. For the time being, there is no word as to what upcoming vehicle will be the first to feature the technology.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820Am is essentially an automative-focused version of the Snapdragon 820 mobile processor, announced at last year’s CES. The Snapdragon 820 upon which the chip is based powered many of the top flagships of yesteryear, including the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and HTC 10. It features powerful 64-bit Kyro custom cores, an Adreno 530 GPU, Qualcomm’s own Hexagon 680 DSP Vector eXtension, and support for download speeds up to 600 megabits per second on Category 12 LTE networks thanks to the onboard Snapdragon X12 LTE modem. The Snapdragon Neural Processing engine found in the Snapdragon 835 has been thrown in for computer vision capabilities and vehicle sensor integration, allowing the chip to handle driver assistance and semi-autonomous driving functions as well. To be clear, the chip is nowhere near powerful enough to enable fully self-driving onboard AI, but it can handle just about everything below that level that could conceivably go into a connected car.
Qualcomm first announced the Snapdragon 820A (including the Am) during CES 2016, and has since partnered up with Panasonic on an infotainment system containing the chip, among other partnerships. This deal sees the Snapdragon 820Am integrated into a range of popular vehicles, and fairly high-end ones at that. No successor to the Snapdragon 820Am has been announced at this time, which means that Qualcomm is likely monitoring the market performance of the chip closely to see if a successor is commercially viable. The connected car field is quite competitive these days, especially with cannibalization from the self-driving car space, so only time will tell if the Snapdragon 820Am will be successful enough to warrant a sequel.