Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Snapdragon Insiders got exclusive access to our President and CEO-Elect Cristiano Amon in our first Reddit Ask Me Anything. Cristiano took questions from fans across our social platforms and provided answers about the global chip shortage, Qualcomm’s role in 5G, and how 5G can democratize Internet access.
Read on for answers to those questions and more, including Cristiano’s answer to “pancakes vs. waffles.” Some of the content has been edited for brevity and clarity. You can check out the full AMA here, including additional answers to your questions from Qualcomm Technologies experts.
Q from polkaguy6000: I've seen news reports of a global microchip shortage. Are shortages like this going to spill over into the phone market or other smaller products that I buy more frequently than a car?
A: The pandemic significantly accelerated the digital transformation of the economy globally. That drove demand for semiconductors for connectivity, processing, and cloud across every industry. If anything, this semiconductor shortage highlighted the importance of our technology to the future of our economy and the significance of the opportunity ahead of us. We are optimistic that the semiconductor supply constraints will improve in the second half of the calendar year.
Q from talluriharsha: There is a lot of talk about how 5G could widen the digital divide. What can be done to bridge this gap and have a meaningful socio-economic impact for everyone?
A: Actually, it's the opposite - 5G brings a unique opportunity to democratize internet access and computing power. In addition to bringing high-speed broadband to millions, it will connect everyone and everything to the cloud and bring the computing power of the cloud to every person and device. I wrote about this for the World Economic Forum. I believe policymakers should prioritize 5G rollouts and unlock its potential.
Q from TantraAnalyst: Do you think there is a threat of mmWave becoming a differentiating or premium-phone only feature? How are you planning to bring down the cost of supporting mmWave in mid-low tier phones? I understand your chips support it.
A: We always said that you can only unlock the full potential of 5G with mmWave. 5G has been designed to work in all spectrum - existing frequencies with DSS, the new mid-bands, and mmWave. mmWave takes longer to deploy because you need new cell stations, but it is part of the 5G rollout plan of virtually all developed economies. We're actively working to bring mmWave to devices broadly and make it available to everyone.
Q from No_Gene2287: What areas/technologies does Qualcomm plan to expand in and invest more in?
A: I love this question. Qualcomm will continue to define the pace of innovation in wireless connectivity and high-performance computing for power-efficient devices. 5G is taking Qualcomm everywhere. Beyond mobile, we are growing in Automotive—we’re powering 150 million vehicles already—as well as computing, XR, AI, wearables, networking, industrial solutions, and many more.
Q from andre91998: What do you think will be the physical limit for advances in terms of bandwidth? Currently, we are talking about GHz and millimeter-waves. Will THz ever become a reality?
A: Look, there is no question that wireless will continue to need more spectrum. The technology behind mmWave spectrum applied to 5G is amazing—it works incredibly well despite the initial skepticism. THz will be the same.
Q from Popcultureworld: How will Qualcomm and 5G improve the current mobile gaming experience, considering the newest microchips released?
A: We believe that 5G, with its inherent low-latency, is a game changer for mobile gaming. It will make the cloud your console and give you access to an almost unlimited number of games. Of course, we're not just doing that—our latest mobile platforms have all sorts of high-end gaming features that make your mobile phone your best gaming device. Learn more about Snapdragon Elite Gaming here.
Q from PhilSolis: Why is it so important for Qualcomm to get into RF when other companies who focus on only RF are there?
A: 5G technology offers an opportunity for Qualcomm to bring significant innovation in RF that translates into more coverage, higher speeds, and improved battery life for smartphones. Unlike our RF competitors, we are a creator of standards and a systems company vs. a component provider. The result is the success of our new modem to antenna RF solution. We are moving from a new entrant to a leader.
Q from ADogNamedEverett: Waffles or pancakes?
A: For sure pancakes. But for chips, wafers.
Thank you to all the Snapdragon Insiders who joined us for our first-ever Reddit AMA. We launched this community because we wanted to connect with and hear from fans like you. Be sure to follow us on social to be one of the first to learn about upcoming AMAs and other Snapdragon Insiders events.
What technology expert would you like to do an AMA with? What would you ask Cristiano Amon? Join the discussion below.