Qualcomm launches integrated, software-defined 5G IoT processors

The Qualcomm® QCS6490 processor and Qualcomm® QCM6490 processor are world’s first integrated 5G IoT processors to support four major operating systems
Sheila Zabeu -

April 12, 2023

Qualcomm Technologies recently announced two integrated 5G IoT processors and two software-defined IoT solutions, compatible with four operating systems. According to the company, these are the world’s first processors with these features. Other recent announcements also include two new robotic platforms and an accelerator programme for IoT ecosystem partners.

“Qualcomm is committed to driving innovation, creating new business opportunities and enabling a new generation of 5G connectivity systems. This starts with ensuring affordability and performance across the entire ecosystem”, said Dev Singh, vice president of business development and head of building, enterprise and industrial automation for Qualcomm Technologies.

The new QCM5430/QCS5430 and QCM6490/QCS6490 processors can be used in a variety of IoT applications. According to Qualcomm, OEMs that manufacture, for example, handheld industrial devices, equipment for retail environments and robots, will have the flexibility to choose between pre-defined or custom feature sets and upgrade them to meet their own demands or to provide upgrades to customers.

Qualcomm QCM5430/QCS5430 processors are powerful software-defined Systems-on-a-Chip (SoC) that offer premium features and flexibility for IoT projects. They come loaded with Wi-Fi 6E for multi-gigabit speeds up to 3.6 Gbps, virtually seamless connectivity, powerful heterogeneous computing and AI-powered multi-camera support.

They can meet machine vision requirements with low-power consumption and advanced processing. When needed, AI capabilities can switch to cloud processing to handle multiple camera connections, choosing between response time optimization and power efficiency, as per manufacturer or user requirements. Additionally, all devices using Qualcomm QCM5430/QCS5430 processor ensure enterprise-grade security.

The Qualcomm QCM5430/Qualcomm QCS5430 Feature Pack 1 and Qualcomm QCM5430/Qualcomm QCS5430 Feature Pack 2 platform packages also include advances in latency and improved responsiveness and throughput in dense mesh environments such as hospitals and warehouses. Another Qualcomm QCM5430 processor pack also includes a 5G modem with mmWave connectivity for ultra-fast data transfer and highly accurate geolocation.

The bundles’ wired connectivity options feature a single USB 3.1 port and one PCIe port, but can be configured with up to two PCIe ports and a 60 fps 4K video port, plus other items.

The Feature Pack 2 package offers more the options with higher CPU performance and an interface. You can choose from several expandable and upgradable options as part of the Qualcomm QCM5430/Qualcomm QCS5430 custom feature pack, among them up to 4K 60fps video compatibility and triple ISP camera.

Qualcomm claims to have already sold more than 350 million dedicated IoT chipsets to serve this expanding segment.

The QCS6490 and QCM6490 processors, meanwhile, offer advanced capabilities for a wide range of solutions, including dashcams, industrial automation equipment (IPC, PLC), autonomous mobile robotics, among other options. According to the company, they can help customers create and develop IoT applications. They are equipped with geolocation capabilities, allowing them to identify the precise location of a device and inform the central server when it leaves a predefined area.

The QCM6490 is optimized for IoT solutions built to deliver premium-level capabilities, including global multigigabit 5G mmW/Sub-6 GHz connectivity and 6E Wi-Fi for high-end IoT devices. The QCS6490, meanwhile, is designed specifically for industrial and commercial IoT applications such as transportation, storage, POSs and logistics management.

News for robotics

The company also introduced innovations in the field of robotics. The new Qualcomm Robotics RB1 and Qualcomm Robotics RB2 platforms use Qualcomm QRB2210 and Qualcomm QRB4210 processors, respectively, and are optimized for powering smaller devices with low power consumption.

The platforms use technologies focused on Artificial Intelligence and communication, with integrated capabilities to work with machine vision using up to three cameras. They have built-in intelligence to combine TDK Corporation’s high-performance data and sensors for applications such as autonomous navigation.

Specifically, Qualcomm Robotics RB2 has a larger feature set, with more compute resources and GPU with dedicated AI accelerator offering twice the processing power of the Qualcomm Robotics RB1 platform. This gives the RB2 version the power to run real-time advanced AI and machine learning systems, detection, classification and environmental engagement. It can work with cameras up to 25MP resolution and has advanced security features, including a DSP and a secure interface. Qualcomm Robotics RB2 is also compatible with more peripheral standards, such as UFS2.1, GPIO, UART and others.

The platforms are compatible with current and emerging connectivity standards such as USB 3.1 Type-C for interconnects and EMMC v 5.1 and SD3.0 for storage, as well as Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G.

Qualcomm Robotics RB1, Qualcomm Robotics RB2 platforms and development kits will be available for order via Thundercomm.

Qualcomm’s robotic platforms are currently in operation in various sectors. The company recalls that in 2021, the first helicopters to fly on Mars were controlled by a Qualcomm robotic platform and drone.

Acceleration programme

Qualcomm Technologies also announced the Qualcomm IoT Acceleration Programm to drive business outcomes for partners in the IoT ecosystem. It covers embedded hardware designers, independent software and hardware vendors, system integrators and ODMs (Original Device Manufacturers).

The accelerator programme combines Qualcomm’s robust technologies with a broad ecosystem of expertise and solutions to drive innovation and add value faster.

“Our latest innovations, including new IoT processors and robotic platforms, along with the Qualcomm Program for IoT Acceleration are designed to provide more support, expertise and access to robust technologies to an even larger group of manufacturers and developers who play an important role in the growth of smart devices,” Singh says.