Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are already the dominant app engines in smartphones and tablets, but the company is now targeting a much larger device: the automobile. The silicon vendor announced at CES on Monday that it has developed an automotive-grade version of Snapdragon for the connected car infotainment system. The 602A chip includes a quad-core CPU, Adreno 320 GPU and additional multimedia and communication cores designed for the unique use case of the car. Qualcomm isn’t the only chipmaker that sees big opportunity in the automotive industry. Nvidia has also been pursuing the vehicle infotainment space aggressively.
In a time-honored tradition, former Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski has joined private equity giant Carlyle Group as a managing director, according to Variety. Carlyle is well-known for attracting former government officials to its ranks, and it’s nice to see a former FCC commissioner that isn’t heading to Comcast or an industry lobbying group. Genachowski was in the private equity world prior to his tenure at the FCC as a co-founder at startup incubator LaunchBox Digital and as an advisor to General Atlantic.
Google has bought a small Swiss app developer called Bitspin, known for its Timely alarm clock app. Timely has a neat gesture-based user interface, a “Smart Rise” mode that gently introduces the alarm sound ahead of time in order to wake the user from a deep sleep, and the ability to synchronize alarms between devices. The Zurich-based outfit said in a weekend post that the app would “continue to work as it always has,” but I daresay we’ll also see the stock Android alarm get a bit smarter soon.
New products shown at CES this week should offer hope for more sales and HTC surely needs them. The company experienced a second consecutive quarterly operating loss on revenues of NT$42.9 billion (US $1.43B), according to Bloomberg. Without profits from the sale of its stake in Beats, HTC would have posted another quarterly net loss as sales have continued to trend down, but it eked out a small after-tax profit of NT$0.31 billion. For a visual look at HTC’s woes, check out this chart of HTC’s monthly revenues for the past 24 months that ZDNet put together: December’s year-over-year revenues were 42.36 percent lower in 2013.