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Mobilize 2010: Qualcomm Says It’s the Processor, Stupid

It’s not just the available bandwidth on mobile networks that slows your mobile browsing down; sometimes it’s the processor that keeps your phone from providing the full mobile experience. That’s according to Steve Mollenkopf, EVP and general manager of CDMA Technologies at Qualcomm, (s QCOM) speaking at today’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco.

That said, Qualcomm can’t just throw a high-end, quad-core processor at the problem; Mollenkopf said that processors built for the desktop versus mobile phones are very different animals. Among other things, mobile processors are optimized for power usage and thermal distribution.

Mobile processors also increasingly must deal with multiple wireless radios that are built into mobile devices. The consumer demand for constant connectivity means a proliferation of different radios that mobile manufacturers are embedding into their devices. “As the number of devices that demand to be connected at all times goes up, the number of radios in them also goes up,” Mollenkopf said. All of that is good news for Qualcomm, which delivers wireless chips for multiple OEMs.

But Qualcomm is increasingly looking beyond the wireless handset market, and is looking to more non-traditional devices and applications that could also benefit from pervasive wireless connectivity. One vertical that’s ripe for innovation and investment is healthcare, where Qualcomm is eyeing machine-to-machine connectivity.

In addition to healthcare, Mollenkopf said there are interesting applications for tracking personal assets like pets, or even children. “People will spend a fair amount of money on things to save them time or on their health,” he said.

The FCC’s approval of new rules that allow carriers to utilize empty or under-utilized “white space” TV spectrum could also be a boon to Qualcomm’s business. That could not just improve overall connectivity but could spur more radio switching between wireless networks, especially over short distances, Mollenkopf said.

Related research from GigaOM PRO (subscription required):

7 Responses to “Mobilize 2010: Qualcomm Says It’s the Processor, Stupid”

  1. wholly mamouth

    I believe Qualcomm picked up the mobile division of ATI when ATI was purchased by AMD. Can someone correct me on that if I am mistaken? If that is correct, they have an in house GPU team. Also, the Snapdragon CPU is Qualcomm’s implementation of the ARM Cortex, just as the Apple A4 is Apple’s implementation of the ARM Cortex. Since each has implemented their own spin on Cortex, the A8 or A9 moniker becomes somewhat irrelevant. Not apples to oranges, but granny smith to mcintosh, for example.

  2. Lucian Armasu

    Sorry, but in 2011 it will be the GPU, stupid (Qualcomm)!

    Everyone will have a dual core Cortex A9 (well ok, except Qualcomm I guess) so the real differentiation will be between GPU’s which will be much more important in 2011 with increased resolutions and better games on the Android platform.

    • yeah right, like you really know! Please dont put comments like this that only show how real ignorant you are. Qualcomm have both the ARM strength and the GPU strength. Please stick to your profession and leave the technology alone.

  3. common sense

    So………………How much CANCER can we expect to see because of all the radio-waves etc. coming at us from all directions??? Well………I guess we’ll see in the future won’t we…..? Will anybody be held liable……..? Of course not……..The gov’t will grant immunity….