Meet Raj Talluri: The Indian Inside the World's Most Powerful Smartphones

Nowshad Rizwanullah , 04 Jan 2014
Raj Talluri
Raj Talluri

MissMalini’s Geek Chic readers will recall our visit to New York last year as part of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 media launch. Aside from playing with a bunch of cool new gadgets, one of our trip highlights was spending time with Raj Talluri, the Indian product manager behind Qualcomm’s powerful new application processor. If the Snapdragon 800 is the brain inside some of the world’s most powerful smarthphones, then Raj is the brain behind the brain – the man who leads the team that designed and developed the chip powering some of the world’s most cutting edge smartphones made by Samsung, HTC, LG and Nokia among others.

Snapdragon 800
Snapdragon 800

As bloggers, we love meeting other tech nerds, and Raj – by his own admission – has been one most of his life (you’d have to be to have 13 U.S. patents to your name). But when he showed up late to dinner because he was busy picking up new threads from John Varvatos, we knew we’d get along famously… and that was before he started dishing out Bollywood goss!

It’s not everyday you meet a technology pioneer that’s literally changing the way humans work and play, so we thought we’d ask Raj some questions about his career, his favourite apps, and the future of smartphone technology. Here are his answers!

Raj Talluri with Nowshad and MissMalini
Raj Talluri with Nowshad and MissMalini

Team MissMalini (TMM): As a start, tell us a bit about your background?

Raj Talluri (RT): Currently, I serve as Senior Vice President of product management for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI). In this role I’m responsible for managing QTI’s applications processor technologies. I have more than 20 years of experience spanning across business management, strategic marketing, and engineering management.

I received my masters of engineering from Anna University in Chennai and a bachelor’s of engineering from Andhra University in Waltair, India. Later on, I got my Ph.D in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. From there I began my career at Texas Instruments (TI), later moved onto a role as General Manager of the Imaging and Audio business and then served as the General Manager of the Cellular Media Solution business in TI’s Wireless Terminals Business Unit. All of these experiences have helped me secure 13 U.S. patents for image processing, video compression, and media processor architectures and publish content in many leading electrical engineering publications.

TMM: What was the first cell phone you owned?

RT: Nokia 5510

Nokia 5510
Nokia 5510

TMM: What is the last app you downloaded?

RT: Amazon Prime Instant Video. 

TMM: Which apps do you use most often?

RT:  1) WhatsApp Messenger; 2) Snapdragon BatteryGuru – this app learns my usage patterns and improves my phone’s battery life; 3) Tripcase – since I travel so much; 4) Rhapsody; 5) Sonos Controller for Music

TMM: What is your favorite feature enabled by the new Snapdragon 800?

RT: The capture, playback and display in 4K UltraHD video. It has four times 1080p pixel density. The Snapdragon 800 expands the possibilities of seamless connected computing while enabling brand new high-end mobile experiences including 4K Ultra HD video.

Digital Video Resolutions
Digital Video Resolutions

TMM: What future smartphone features are you most excited about?

RT: Context aware smartphones that personalise themselves to your usage patterns using many different sensors.

TMM: Are you a Mac or PC?

RT: I use a PC for work. But I also use an iPad.  Nowadays I mostly use my Android smartphone.

TMM: Google Glass: Love it or Leave it?

RT: All wearables represent an exciting new tool to help navigate this connected world, enabling users convenient control over all the personalized notifications they want and need, when and where they want them.

Google Glass
Google Glass

TMM: Where do you get your technology news? 

RT: Everywhere, not only business publications but technology trades. Mostly via Flipboard.

TMM: The year is 2030. What do smartphones look like?

RT: Everything will be seamlessly connected, from home environments to personal devices. Will be hard to tell what is smartphone and what is not!

Psst! Here are two videos we shot with Raj at the Qualcomm event:

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