Qualcomm Launches 5G Platform For Drones, Says Working With Verizon For Network Testing

Chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Wednesday launched the industry’s first 5G platform for drones with artificial intelligence (AI)-capabilities to drive the next generation of high-performance, low-power drones.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G platform will help accelerate the development of commercial, enterprise, and industrial drones and will pave the way for industries to adopt drone solutions and reap the benefits of the intelligent edge.

It is powered by the Qualcomm QRB5165 processor and builds upon Qualcomm Technologies’ latest IoT offerings, an official statement said.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 platform enables fully autonomous drones through homogeneous computing and interference at the edge for AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities.

Additionally, it packs leading camera capabilities for imaging coupled with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity that improves critical flying beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS).

It is also equipped with a Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit to support modern drone demands for cybersecurity protections.

Qualcomm said it is working with Verizon to complete the network testing of the drone platform for the Verizon 5G network and expects the 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) capable platform to be offered via the Verizon Thingspace Marketplace.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform is purpose-built for drone development with enhanced autonomy and intelligence features said senior director, business development, and general manager of autonomous robotics, drones, and intelligent machines, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“The Qualcomm Flight RB5 Platform provides a robust hardware platform that is offering the ecosystem of drone developers a simple path to get connected. That means drones built with the Qualcomm Flight RB5 Platform can leverage the massive capacity of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband to navigate the world in safer and more productive ways than ever before,” said Eric T. Ringer, co-founder, chief of staff, Skyward, A Verizon company.

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