Qualcomm’s New Processor Geared for ‘New Normal’ of Smart Cameras
Qualcomm Technologies Inc. today unveiled a new processor it says is capable of handling much of the same smart camera IoT technology as its top-of-the-line chips but at a more-affordable price.
The QCS7230 processor, released at the International Security Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas, expands Qualcomm’s Vision Intelligence Platform and is ideally suited for smart camera applications in the security and public safety segments, Siddhartha Franco, Qualcomm’s director of business development for IoT camera, said. It essentially provides many of the capabilities available with Qualcomm’s premium QCS8250 and QRB5165 processors at price better suited for large-scale deployment.
“Today’s cameras require superior connectivity and interoperability, powerful edge computing and AI capabilities in addition to protections for security and privacy — all of which Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely suited to provide,” Franco said. “Qualcomm Technologies’ expansive portfolio of smart camera solutions make it easier for businesses and entities looking to deploy smart cameras to support a variety of use cases across industries from creating safer communities to informing better business decisions.”
Many of the possibilities of smart cameras came into focus during the pandemic, as organizations sought ways to ensure the safety of public spaces. In this new normal, smart cameras equipped with connectivity, AI, analytics and cloud technologies were used to support social distancing, monitor mask usage, track occupancy levels and improve various operational processes, Qualcomm said.
The key to doing this efficiently is enabling AI at the edge, where the data is collected, and not in the cloud, where most processing has typically taken place, Franco said. The benefits of edge AI are manifold. Processing visual data on the device or on gateway/hub components eliminates the time-consuming and expensive task of transmitting it to the cloud. It also improves privacy, because data used in facial-recognition processing does not leave the device.
This, Franco said, is where Qualcomm’s new solution comes in. The QCS7230 processor is able to satisfy the wider needs of smart cameras across industries while supporting expanded end-to-end uses of smart cameras through the IoT as a service (IoTaaS) model. The processor will also help customers transition from traditional video management software models to video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) without needing to replace existing cameras, Franco said.
“As the edge becomes smarter, camera architectures are also evolving in a way that allows industries to capture and analyze more data on the edge,” he said. “When I go to work … I am thinking about how we are going to connect, basically, the unconnected things and allow these things to do more and more.”