Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight will power drones of the future

Ah, drones – the burgeoning tech sector that every manufacturer and their aunt wants to get into.

To that end, Qualcomm has developed a new reference platform to help companies build drones for consumers – Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight.

Right now, the drone ecosystem is pretty fragmented, with manufacturers having to find their own solutions for building snap-happy quadcopters.

Snapdragon Flight gives companies a single board that handles drone communications and camera technology too.

The board is based on last year’s Snapdragon 801 processor, which appeared in a number of top-end smartphones like the Sony Xperia Z3, the OnePlus One, the HTC One M8, and the LG G3.

The chipset in question runs on a 2.26GHz quad-core Krait CPU and Qualcomm’s Adreno 330 GPU.

It also offers up “advanced drone software and development tools”.

These include real-time flight control, built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and a global navigation satellite system to support accurate location positioning.

The Snapdragon Flight will also support a number of features, as follows:

  • 4K resolution image sensors
  • Simultaneous 720p encoding for first-person view
  • Dual-cameras for depth-sensing
  • Barometer sensor
  • Ports for additional sensors
  • Qualcomm’s Quick Charge battery charging tech

“Today, drones are made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications, adding to the cost and bulk of consumer drones,” explains Raj Talluri, Senior VP of Product Management at Qualcomm.

Talluri continues: “The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight brings together the technologies that have defined the mobile industry onto a single board, enabling OEMs to build drones that are lighter, smaller, easy to use and affordable with long battery life and superior functionalities.”

Related: 11 jawdropping videos that will make you want a drone

Qualcomm also revealed that drone manufacturer Yuneec will be one of the first companies to adopt Snapdragon Flight.

Its first drone based on the Snapdragon Flight platform will be released in 2016.

Snapdragon Flight is available for select manufacturers starting from today.

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