Internet of things seems to be on a mission mode. And if there is any company that is pioneering this momentum, globally as well as in India, it undoubtedly has to be Qualcomm. We spoke to Uday Dodla, the man who leads the San Diego headquartered technology firm’s IoT operations including drones, smart devices, wearables and smart cities in India, as its Director for Product Marketing. He also is the man who spearheads Qualcomm’s in Design India challenge – an incubator program for hardware companies. His views :
Q. What are your views on the adoption of Internet of Things, both globally as well as in India?
We see good momentum and expect further growth in various areas such as smart cities, cameras and drones, home control and automation, home entertainment, wearables, and voice and music – both within India and globally. We are also seeing products becoming more intelligent and capable at the edge – doing more locally and sending only the relevant data to the cloud. Analysts estimate the installed base of IoT devices to be more than 20 billion units by 2020.
Q. Can you guess the market size of IoT in India?
Globally, we estimate the serviceable addressable opportunity for our semiconductor business to be about $15 billion in IoT by 2020. While we don’t provide a split by region, India is important not only for the size of the country, but also for the opportunity to collaborate with companies and organizations in benefiting from the global opportunity.
Q. How is your company positioned in this scheme of things? Where does exactly it fit in the ecosystem?
We are uniquely positioned with our scale and expertise in connectivity and compute to deliver the technologies needed in IoT, helping customers commercialize their products faster and more cost-effectively. What makes Qualcomm different is the depth of our portfolio, platforms and partnerships.
Portfolio: advanced connectivity and computing technologies for the IoT, providing these technologies through chipsets / SoCs that help reduce complexity for manufacturers
Platforms: purpose-built platforms and reference designs offer optimized hardware configurations and/or advanced software features to serve specific applications
Partnerships : Scale, strong momentum, relationships with all key players in the ecosystem
Qualcomm has an unmatched connectivity and compute portfolio – and leading the world to 5G. We are already offering 25+ platforms, with more to come, we’re working across the industry and collaborating with other leaders – intersecting category-defining requirements with our technology.
Q. Can you give us a brief about the IoT solutions you have for various industry verticals?
We have an unparalleled breadth and depth of solutions for IoT:
• Connectivity: 3G/4G LTE modem, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFFE, DSL, Powerline, Position / location
• Compute: CPU, GPU, DSP, Multimedia, computer vision, security, multi-OS support
• Others: Power management, Wireless power, Biometrics
Our IoT business provides technologies through chipsets / SoCs with focus on the following segments
• Smart body: Wearables, Voice and Music
• Smart homes: Home entertainment, control and automation, cameras, drones, VR, Voice assistant speakers etc.
• Smart cities: commercial & industrial IoT
Q. You company is a pioneer in many technological revolutions- both for enterprises as well as for end users. What are the areas you see IoT can serve both these consumers in near future?
Areas such as Healthcare, Automotive and Drones & Robotics will see more adoption with clear consumer benefits. We are actively engaged with industry relationships in these areas.
Q. In immediate future, what are the IoT solutions/products you see for end users?
I think we will see connected devices becoming more prevalent as technology becomes easier to adopt and deploy wherever and whenever. Solutions such as smart meters, connected cars, surveillance cameras, wearables for health & safety will see increased adoption.
Q. Wearables did not take off well as expected. Where do you see the industry missed the bus?
We continue to see the wearables segment as a growth opportunity. We have seen strong adoption of Qualcomm technologies in wearables, with more than 100 design wins including our technology. Snapdragon processors already power more than 80 percent of all Android Wear smartwatches.
We have design wins for smart watches, fitness trackers, sports watches and kid watches. We are seeing strong growth in all of these areas. We are particularly excited about the opportunity in 4G/LTE connected, location enabled targeted purpose devices like kid trackers and elder care watches. We believe there is strong growth in these devices.
Additionally, the acquisition of CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) last September has brought a wealth of product and talent to Qualcomm, particularly for wearables. CSR’s leading Bluetooth and GPS products are already in a wide range of wearables products, and they are a perfect complement to Qualcomm processors and connectivity products.
Q. Where do you see governments as a customer and how the Indian government is looking at this?
We are focused on making India an important part of our IoT product journey. We have multiple corporate initiatives such as the Ventures Fund and the Design in India programs to spur the design and development of electronics products in India that benefit the ecosystem. This goes hand in hand with the Digital India/Make in India initiatives of the Government of India.