Throughout 2017 there was one big expected acquisition bubbling away in the background of the tech world: Qualcomm's $39b acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, known for its automotive, security and IoT chips. An acquisition that, to date, hasn't happened, with some speculating it could potentially put the brakes on the company's future potential in the automotive industry.
Cue CES 2018, where Qualcomm came to silence any doubts at its press conference, betting big on automotive, forging forward with in-car connected partnerships with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Honda and BYD (Build Your Dreams).
With JLR showing off some of the most enticing technological interiors in the car market - just look at the Range Rover Velar, as one example - its use of Qualcomm's 820Am Automotive Platform will mean high-speed 4G LTE connectivity in future vehicles.
The forthcoming Honda Accord will also use Qualcomm's Snapdragon Automotive Platform to power in-car applications on the vehicle's infotainment and navigation systems, alongside a Qualcomm 4G LTE to support the Hondalink vehicle connectivity system.
While Chinese maker BYD is lesser known in Europe, it is a large scale electric vehicle (EV) brand that with further cement Qualcomm's volume in the automative space. From 2019, BYD will utilise the Snapdragon 820A Automotive Platform to support its cars' infotainment and digital cluster platforms.
All of which goes to make a solid footprint in the automotive industry. But it hasn't gone unanswered: Nvidia announced partnerships with Uber (for AI computing systems) and Volkswagen (for AI co-pilot) at its CES 2018 press conference, showing the demand there is in this space as we accelerate into a more technological automotive future.
Qualcomm is betting big on automotive technology for 2018 and beyond. These JLR, Honda and BYD partnerships are first steps, however, as the impending NXP acquisition will likely accelerate its dominance in the industry. Chances are, then, it'll be Qualcomm powering your in-car tech and comms in the not-too-distant future.