Qualcomm unveils cellular 'vehicle to everything' chipset

Qualcomm introduced a cellular “vehicle-to-everything” chipset designed to complement access 4G and 5G networks, enabling vehicles to communicate directly with cars, traffic lights and other connected items via a short-range technology.

The 9150 C-V2X (cellular vehicle to everything) technologies encompass “two transmission modes of direct communications and network-based communications,” according to Qualcomm. In addition to the cellular connection, it will access the 5.9 GHz Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) band to communicate with connected devices in its immediate proximity without needing a network, SIM card or cell subscription.

“With its strong synergy with telematics and an evolution towards 5G, C-V2X offers benefits to the automotive industry by developing new capabilities for improving road safety, and enhancing autonomous driving and advanced connected services, while building on the ITS momentum and investments made over the last decade,” said Nakul Duggal, Qualcomm’s vice president of product management, in a press release. “C-V2X is expected to support safer roads, increase productivity and decrease traffic congestion. We look forward to seeing our 9150 C-V2X chipset play a key role in assisting the global market to achieve those benefits.”

The strategy behind the new chipset is simple: It could enable cars and their drivers to access data and services from cell networks when appropriate, but also enable low-latency transmissions between cars and connected items—including those carried by pedestrians—when time is a critical factor. The chipset will also complement other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensors including cameras, radar and LIDAR to provide data about the vehicle’s surroundings.

A reference design based on the chipset will include an application processor running the ITS V2X stack as well as a hardware security module. The chipset will be available for commercial sampling in the second half of next year.

Qualcomm has been developing V2X technologies and services for years, the company said, and its partners in the space include Audi, Ford, Europe’s PSA Group (Peugot, Citroen and DS) and China’s SAIC Motor Corporation Limited.

“Qualcomm Technologies’ anticipated 9150 C-V2X chipset serves as a major milestone in paving the road for 5G and safer autonomous driving,” said Thomas Muller, Audi’s head of electronics. “As C-V2X continues to serve as an essential ingredient for enhanced safety for next-generation vehicles, Qualcomm Technologies’ 9150 C-V2X chipset will certainly help accelerate the adoption and deployment of C-V2X technologies.”

This story was updated September 1 to clarify technical aspects and add Qualcomm's comment on availability.