Smartphone processor manufacturer Qualcomm has announced a new platform for consumer drones that is aimed at making drones lighter and less complex while supporting the camera functionality used on many drones today.

The new platform is called the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight, and it has been in development at Qualcomm over the past six months. It also offers support for a 4K camera, two cameras for depth, and a fourth camera for indoor stabilization.

Basically, Qualcomm is helping create extremely small flying 4K cameras, capable of capturing 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second. These drones are far lighter than any other drones with 4K videos on the market.

Qualcomm hopes the new platform will be adopted by both existing drone companies and companies that have yet to enter the market. Given the fact that the drone market is expected to expand to be worth a whopping $4.8 billion by 2021, Qualcomm's bet is that it will be able to gain a lot of business through the new platform.

"Today, drones are made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications, adding to the cost and bulk of consumer drones," said Qualcomm's senior vice president of product management, Raj Talluri, in an interview.

Not only will the processors offer a lot of support for different components, but they should also make it far easier for drone manufacturers, simplifying the electronics inside of a drone.

The drone platform came from research that Qualcomm had been doing in using its Snapdragon mobile processors in robotics, concluding that the sensors used on its chips are perfect for other uses.

The platform also offers support for a low-latency first-person view that can be achieved while the drone is capturing 4K video.

The first known customer to the new platform is Yuneec, a Chinese drone manufacturer.

Via: Fast Company

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