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How India R&D Is Helping Qualcomm Move Beyond Smartphones


As chip major Qualcomm aims to go beyond serving the global smartphone industry to cater to a bigger device ecosystem, the company’s over 17,000-strong India workforce is helping it realise the dream to become a connected chip powerhouse, according to top executives.

With centres in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Noida, the India R&D operation is the company’s largest outside of its US-based headquarters.

Ziad Asghar, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, told IANS that India is a sweet spot for them to transition from a wireless communications company for the mobile industry to a connected processor company for the intelligent edge.

“India R&D teams are busy working towards our goal to enter and lead new device territories beyond smartphones. We have some of the brightest people working on new technologies, especially at the Bengaluru and Hyderabad centres, giving our vision a concrete shape,” Asghar informed.

Qualcomm has large teams across hardware and software engineering in India, including 5G and augmented and virtual reality.

The company has placed a big bet on the Extended Reality (XR) market, showcasing new technologies at its ‘Snapdragon Summit 2022’ to power future smart glasses, AR/VR headsets, laptops, tablets, wearables and hearables, among others.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform was developed with the help of various R&D teams in India, and XR is just at the beginning of its growth curve.

According to Dr. Vinesh Sukumar, Senior Director – Head of AI/ML Product Management at Qualcomm, India has always been a growth market for Qualcomm.

“We have always been very bullish on the Indian market and the abundance of talent in the country. Qualcomm is putting a lot of investment and research at its India centres, in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, to refine user experiences across gaming, XR, automotive and more,” said Sukumar.

Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm, recently said that the company continues to be a leading platform provider for virtually all commercially available and announced XR devices and remain well-positioned as XR develops.

Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS that by leveraging its strong, in-house AI across the board, Qualcomm has been able to enable intelligent experiences through Snapdragon for the digitally accelerated world, across industries, going far beyond mobile.

“At the core of Qualcomm’s transformation into a strong platform company for the intelligent edge, is its in-house R&D talent – including, for instance, in Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” Ram noted.

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