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Spreading the Word in Silicon Valley

Anand Chandrasekher on stage, sharing the latest Snapdragon news.

More than 600 people joined Qualcomm in Silicon Valley this week to hear about “What’s Next in Mobile.” It was Qualcomm’s second annual Bay Area mini-conference. The one-day event featured Qualcomm executives and drew a high-caliber crowd—including industry analysts, media, customers, and potential partners.

“I wanted to hear the road map,” said attendee Jim Eckstrom, a sales director with digital security company Inside Secure. “I got a boatload of information.”

Qualcomm has a strong presence in the Silicon Valley, with 2,000 employees in the area. Chief Marketing Officer Anand Chandrasekher kicked off the event by describing the varied types of work Qualcomm does in the region, ranging from the Santa Clara-based research office to the Wi-Fi products created by Qualcomm’s subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

Chief Technology Officer Matt Grob described how wireless network operators must prepare for a growing flood of data, which may be as much as 1000 times greater than it is today. Qualcomm is working to develop technologies to handle this influx, including a small cell that Grob easily held in one hand.

“When I started with Qualcomm, it took literally racks of equipment to do what this thing does,” he said. But small cells are tiny enough to be easily installed in homes or offices. And they’re inexpensive. “There is the potential for this thing to cost less than a phone,” he said.

Martin Garner, an analyst with CCS Insight, took the stage with Qualcomm QIS President Rob Chandhok for a conversation about connected experiences. Getting all types of electronics to communicate—from your TV to your refrigerator—is key, Chandhok said. “The first step is let’s have these things talk to each other,” he said. He explained how AllJoyn software can make that possible, regardless of the type of device or what operating system it runs.

Peggy Johnson, EVP & President of Global Market Development at Qualcomm, closed out the morning’s keynote session with a discussion on how wireless innovation was changing industries far outside mobile. “Several years ago, we stared to see an inflection point in our industry, and it was that all of these other industries wanted to be connected,” she said. “The consumer electronics industry was coming to Qualcomm saying ‘talk to us about connectivity.’”

Attendees broke into smaller sessions and workshops in the afternoon, including tracks for developers and analysts. “My specific mission was to meet people doing augmented reality work,” said attendee Manu Pillai, CEO of consulting firm techrev, who said he also enjoyed the networking opportunities offered by the event.

Missed this year’s conference? Visit the Qualcomm Bay Area page for more information on our facilities and upcoming activities in Northern California.

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