The Qualcomm drone platform

September 17, 2015 | 08:25
The powerful Qualcomm drone platform
The powerful Qualcomm drone platform
Qualcomm have rolled out their Snapdragon Flight drone platform, which they hope will become a standard chassis for consumer surveillance drones. After the announcement Hugo Swart, senior director of product management gave a live demo of the Snapdragon Flight reference drone which is now one of the world’s smallest 4K flying cameras. Unsurprisingly the platform uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, the same one that beats away at the heart of so many smart phones. The main PCB measures 58 x 40mmand the processor already packs features such as:

• Quad-core processor

With connectivity options such as:

• 4th gen power efficient LTE multimode transceiver,
• Modem
• Bluetooth BT4.0, VIVE 1-stream 802.11n/ac with MU-MIMO
• WiFi, USB.

The other integrated features include:

• Video offering 4K playback and capture with H.264 (AVC) 1080p playback with H.265 (HEVC) DASH.
• Camera support up 21MP Dual ISP including hi-res 4K capture.

All of which make this chip a good match for the tasks required of a drone controller. Quick Charge technology is also integrated to support fast battery charging. The camera supports hi-res 4K video capture, translated to 720p for live coverage during flights. The drone manufacturer Yuneec has already announced their intention to make use of the platform and some industry watchers expect its introduction will lead to a new family of lower cost drones, and a rise in the sales of air rifles.
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