With new Mercedes-Benz deal, Qualcomm’s auto design pipeline reaches $30 billion


NEW YORK — Mercedes-Benz will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis in upcoming vehicles, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. said Thursday.

Mercedes plans to power its vehicles’ digital cockpits and telematics systems with the computing platform, Qualcomm said. The company now has a Snapdragon design-win pipeline worth $30 billion, according to Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, a figure that reflects Qualcomm’s efforts to become a prominent automotive presence.

The Snapdragon Digital Chassis is a set of open, scalable platforms for use in connectivity, digital cockpits and advanced driver assistance systems.

“Our technology partnership is transforming Mercedes-Benz vehicles as we deliver unparalleled compute, performance, AI and safety experiences by providing premium solutions for their next generation of automobiles,” Nakul Duggal, Qualcomm’s automotive chief, said in a statement.

Mercedes is the latest brand to say it will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platforms in its vehicles, joining automakers such as Stellantis, Hyundai, Renault, Volvo, BMW and Volkswagen Group. Qualcomm has invested in its automotive offerings in recent years, expanding Snapdragon and acquiring tech supplier Veoneer’s Arriver software stack earlier this year for about $4.5 billion.

Mercedes will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon cockpit platform to enahnce in-vehicle virtual assistance. It will also utilize Qualcomm’s automotive connectivity platform, enabling “ultra-fast connectivity” and “quick network response times” needed for advanced safety systems, according to the tech giant.

The deal comes days after rival Nvidia showcased its latest high-performance computer intended for automotive purposes.

Separately, Qualcomm said it is working with open-source provider Red Hat to bring Linux-based operating systems to next-generation vehicles that use the Snapdragon Digital Chassis.

The partnership will help automakers conduct “simpler and more efficient vehicle” updates, speed up the deployment of new digital services and bolster its connectivity, Qualcomm said. Combining Snapdragon platforms with Red Hat’s operating system is expected to allow automakers to “address higher levels of cybersecurity requirements” and privacy certifications.

Qualcomm intends to offer versions of its Snapdragon platforms for the digital cockpit and driver assistance systems integrated with Red Hat’s in-vehicle operating system starting in the second half of 2023.

“Software-defined vehicles bring an exciting opportunity for the entire automotive ecosystem to go beyond the current functions of the vehicle,” said Bill Pinnell, Qualcomm vice president of automotive product management.

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