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Two weeks ago I covered a series of announcements from GPU powerhouse Nvidia[1], around new AI-focused products. Among these announcements was a partnership around the integration of certain Nvidia technology into ARM[2] chip designs, specifically to deliver optimized AI processing in IoT devices.

Also read: Nvidia doubles down on AI[3]

This week, not to be outdone, Qualcomm is announcing its own IoT- and AI-optimized SoC (system on a chip) platforms, geared towards computer vision applications. The company is today launching the QCS603 and QCS605 in this arena, and these two products have a lot going on.

Seshu Madhavapeddy, Qualcomm's VP of Product Management for IoT, briefed me on the new platform and went into a lot of detail.

Special applications

Madhavapeddy explained to me that the new SoCs are designed for IoT edge computing[4], wherein as much processing goes on in the device as possible, thus minimizing data movement to remote infrastructure. And, specifically, the QCS603 and 605 are geared towards vision intelligence. Applications for this technology include security cameras, sports cameras, wearable cameras, virtual reality cameras, robotics and smart displays.

Also: Edge, core, and cloud: Where all the workloads go[5]

Mr. Madhavapeddy further explained to me how IoT cameras differ greatly from their smartphone counterparts. IoT cameras have to operate in very low-light conditions, down to 1 Lux. They also have very different image stabilization applications: in the IoT world, it's not about less-blurry snapshots, it's about making video taken from helmet-mounted cameras in a sporting scenario, or from drone cameras while its host goes on a mission, focused and readable.

The 603 and 605 can handle

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