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11/12/2008
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Qualcomm Goes Beyond PCs With Kayak, Snapdragon

Kayak fills a gap between desktop PCs and Internet-capable devices, and is expected to feature keyboard and mouse compatibility.


Qualcomm's Kayak Device

Qualcomm's Kayak Device
(click for larger image)

Targeting emerging markets, Qualcomm on Wednesday announced an alternative to PCs in an effort to spread Internet access over a range of devices that could connect to TVs and computer monitors.

The effort, called "Kayak," is in the reference design stage, but is planned to also enable 3G networks and Opera Software's Web 2.0-capable browser. In its announcement, Qualcomm said future Kayak-designed devices could be powered by its Snapdragon chipset architecture.

Inventec has been tapped to manufacture test versions of Kayak for user trials, which Qualcomm expects will begin to be carried out in the first quarter of 2009.

"The broad footprint of 3G networks means that wireless is the answer to Internet access for worldwide markets -- especially in emerging regions," said Qualcomm's Luis Pineda in a statement. Pineda is senior VP of marketing and product management for the company's CDMA technologies unit. Kayak trials will be conducted over both CDMA2000 and WCDMA/UMTS networks, Qualcomm said.

The Kayak reference design utilizes Qualcomm's dual-core Mobile Station Modem MSM 7xxx-series chipsets, which can be combined with Opera's browser, which is popular on mobile devices. Qualcomm said Kayak fills a gap between desktop PCs and Internet-capable devices. In addition to supporting TV/monitor use, the Kayak design also will feature keyboard and mouse compatibility.

While Kayak designs eventually could appear on Snapdragon designs, Qualcomm said more than 30 Snapdragon device designs are already in the development stage. The company indicated that the Snapdragon designs cover both smartphone and laptop ventures. The power-efficient Snapdragon platform supports several operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Google's Android, and some Linux operating systems.

Companies working on Snapdragon designs include Acer, Asus International, C-motech, Compal Electronics, Foxconn International Holdings, High Tech Computer, Inventec, LG Electronics, Quanta Computer, Samsung, Toshiba, and Wistron.

Qualcomm, which said initial Snapdragon devices are expected to hit the market during the first six months of 2009, cited market research studies predicting that Snapdragon's market segment is expected to experience an 80% compound annual growth rate over the next several years.

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