Qualcomm announces new innovation center and 5G education initiative in Southern Taiwan

Qualcomm Innovation Center in Kaohsiung. Credit: DIGITIMES

Qualcomm announced on September 21 to establish the Qualcomm Innovation Center, Southern Taiwan located at Kaohsiung’s Yawan 5G AIOT Innovation Park to support local industries and startups, as well as unveiling the Qualcomm Wireless Reach 5G innovative education initiative to bridge the digital divide.

“As a global leader in wireless communication technology innovations, Qualcomm continues to advance technologies for the betterment of human lives by collaborating with like-minded partners with the same aspirations to promote economic prosperity and social progress,” ST Liew, president and VP of Qualcomm Taiwan and Southeast Asia, said in the ceremony to mark the opening of its new innovation center and the signing of an MOU with the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center.

For the education initiative, Qualcomm is collaborating with Acer, Askey Computer Corp, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), XRSPACE, NewSoft, and mixed reality content provider Mifly Design to provide resources such as notebooks, VR goggles, AR/VR editing tools and materials , as well as 5G Internet equipment operated on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile computing platform for several elementary schools and junior high schools in southern Taiwanese areas of Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung. Teachers will be able to develop teaching materials with VR technologies and enhance teaching by visualizing abstract concepts in an immersive context. Students are able to use VR devices in classes, where low-latency 5G private networks are built on campus to enable frictionless communications.

At the signing ceremony of Qualcomm’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center for building private networks with Qualcomm’s 5G technologies across all band ranges including sub-six and mmWave for the venue, Kaohsiung city mayor Chi-mai Chen emphasized that Kaohsiung is making an all-out effort to promote smart-tech industries to capture the opportunities amid the restructuring of global supply chains.

“We aim to do carbon net-zero transformation as well as digital transformation for industries in Kaohsiung, and Qualcomm’s 5G AIoT technology is key to applications in decarbonization and digital transformation, as well as in scenarios such as education and healthcare,” said Chen.

This is not Qualcomm’s first project in Kaohsiung. In December 2020, Qualcomm and Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) jointly built the world’s first private network 5G mmWave smart factory for Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) at its Kaohsiung production site.

Qualcomm started the Qualcomm Innovate in Taiwan Challenge (QITC) four years ago, and has incubated 39 startups in its Innovation Center in Taipei. Since some startup teams are from the southern part of Taiwan, Qualcomm decided to set up the new Qualcomm Innovation Center, Southern Taiwan in Kaohsiung to accommodate the needs of those young innovators. “This kind of a working lab is calibrated, just like oxygen for starters, because they can come in to work, to test, to use advanced technology equipment and build their products, use cases and services,” said Sudeepto Roy, VP engineering, Qualcomm Technology Licensing. Roy coaches QITC startups on how to build their intellectual properties by providing professional consultations on how to apply for patents.

In the new innovation center, Qualcomm collaborated with Compal Electronics on providing AR/VR devices, 5G mmWave and Sub-6Ghz private networks to support startups that are building up their products or use cases with 5G AIoT, Open RAN, robotics applications.

Qualcomm has announced the shortlist of 10 startups in its 2022 QITC competition, and has been giving those startups intensive training to prepare them for the final competition. Besides the equipment and devices that startups need for testing and building prototypes, Qualcomm also provides them with artificial intelligence (AI) computing power for building their algorithms.

The finalists will be announced in mid-November. While each year only the top three will receive prize money, actually all of the shortlisted teams are already regarded as part of the Qualcomm ecosystem and will maintain long-term relations with Qualcomm for future collaborations and business development, according to Yvie Tai, Qualcomm business development director and program manager.

Qualcomm VP Sudeepto Roy (left to right), Kaohsiung mayor Chi-mai Chen and Qualcomm VP and president Taiwan and Southeast Asia ST Liew at the MOU signing ceremony.

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