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Snapdragon 820 Automotive processors debut at CES 2016

Jan 5, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Today, there are more than 20 million vehicles with Qualcomm Snapdragon modems deployed globally. Going beyond simply connecting us to the Internet from our vehicles, Qualcomm Technologies is now offering new automotive-grade Snapdragon system-on-chips (SoCs)—the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Automotive processor family, including the Snapdragon 820A infotainment processor and a version with an integrated X12 LTE modem capable of Category 12 speeds.

Both versions combine computer vision with object recognition in real time, to help support a safer driving experience. Both flavors are also designed to be “future-proof,” mainly due to a modular design concept that enables the head unit to adapt to technology evolutions seamlessly. Meet the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Automotive processor—making cars connected, smart, and aware. Here’s how.


The Snapdragon 820 Automotive processor comes in two flavors. The first version is the Snapdragon 820A. Equipped with the Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU architecture, videos are processed faster, with a 40 percent gain in graphics performance and 40 percent improvement in power efficiency when compared to the previous generation. Feel free to watch high-definition videos—the Snapdragon 820A can support multiple high-resolution displays. With the increased bandwidth for processing and connectivity, the Snapdragon 820A supports audio and video streaming from multiple devices through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

The second—the Snapdragon 820Am—has all of the above features and is also equipped with a Snapdragon X12 Modem, which integrates the most advanced 4G LTE technologies available in an SoC. The modem supports Category 12 speeds with download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps.


Cars are evolving—from simply connected-to-the-cloud smart, to always-aware and always-learning smart. The 820A processor supports the Qualcomm Zeroth machine intelligence platform, which enables on-device machine learning. With Zeroth technology, the Snapdragon-powered vehicle can also detect and classify objects as potential threats using computer vision.

The Snapdragon 820 Automotive processor is powered by the custom-architected 64-bit capable Qualcomm Kryo CPU. When compared to generic 64-bit solutions, the new Kryo CPU is engineered to provide 30 to 85 percent better performance, but uses up to 60 percent less power, supporting sustained high performance and throughput at lowered system power.

The processor is also designed to be scalable, adaptable, and customizable, with or without the LTE modem. Through software and firmware upgrades, drivers can stay up to date with the latest technology without upgrading an entire car.


Always-on sensors allow the car to be constantly aware of its surroundings, enhancing your driving experience. The Snapdragon 820Am features driver assistance with lane departure warnings, vehicle detection for front collision warnings, and traffic sign recognition, just in case you missed that sneaky stop sign. Enhanced 3D navigation is updated in real time, and lanes and traffic signs are mapped out to give you the easiest route from point A to point B.

Through advanced camera and sensor processing, continuous warning and emergency services are always on alert. On-chip image signal processors support four to eight automotive camera sensors that are connected simultaneously and the intelligent rear view camera uses advanced computer vision to detect objects while backing up. Vehicle-to-mobile device (included in the V2X category) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) warnings are also employed to avoid collisions through alerts sent to the vehicles, smartphone applications, or connected wearable devices.

Wireless connectivity has always been Qualcomm Technologies’ specialty, and with the debut of the Snapdragon 820 Automotive processor, we’ve created a new automotive landscape for communication, energy efficiency, infotainment, and safety. See you on the open road!

Hungry for more tech news? Find out all about Qualcomm at CES 2016.

Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm Hexagon, Qualcomm Kryo, and Qualcomm Zeroth are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Snapdragon Staff

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