GoPro and Qualcomm have revealed at the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit that the HERO7 Silver and HERO7 white GoPro cameras are powered by Qualcomm processors.
The HERO7 Silver ($299) is the more powerful as it has the Qualcomm Vision Intelligence 200 chip, while the HERO7 White ($199) uses the Vision Intelligence 100.
When the cameras were launched last month, GoPro didn’t reveal which company had built the computing platform for these two cameras but know it’s official that Qualcomm is the supplier.
GoPro still builds a custom chip called GP1 for its highest-end camera, the GoPro HERO7 Black which has a lot more features and capabilities, but it’s fair to expect that the Qualcomm-powered ones will sell in higher volume.
The strategy makes sense: GoPro can focus on controlling the whole stack at the high-end, as they add unique features that competitors won’t have access to via a processor partner. Once the features are standard, they can be added to cameras powered by third-party hardware like Qualcomm’s.
In the meantime, GoPro has directed its engineering resources towards the “tip of the spear,” where profits are highest.
Qualcomm has even more powerful Vision Intelligence processors with the models 300 and 400. This platform was announced around April 2018 and is a lean, but extremely powerful hardware, that essentially embeds an ARM processor, a digital signal processor (DSP) and an image signal processor (ISP).
Such platforms can applied to security cameras, drones, smart displays and other IoT/imaging applications. The DSP would allow some AI computing to happen on the device, such as recognition of objects previously learned/taught to avoid reliance on a wireless network.
Finally, Vision Intelligence could also run multi-camera VR applications, where the chip would combine a huge amount of footage in real-time, to build a seamless 360-Degree spherical video.