Qualcomm’s new SoCs promise faster, longer-lasting smartwatches

These days, smartwatches are increasingly in demand devices. It is one of the few technology sectors that has not stopped growing despite the coronavirus crisis. Worldwide smartwatch shipments grew 12% in 2020 compared to last year’s first quarter. And, according to forecasts, it is expected that this segment will continue to grow further.

The new generation of smartwatches needs new processors that can provide them with more power for smoother performance and improved connectivity, but with minimal power consumption that allows them to extend battery life. To respond to these needs, Qualcomm has announced this week another generation of processors for smartwatches: the “Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and Snapdragon Wear 4100.”

The Qualcomm’s hybrid architecture was first introduced with platform Snapdragon Wear 3100, which hit the market promising more performance and battery life of wearable. The same approach should be used in the Wear 4100 line, which will bring enhanced experiences to the next generation connected smartwatches, according to the company.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms.
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms.
Credits: Qualcomm

It is based on Qualcomm’s hybrid architecture and includes a super-fast System-on-Chip (SoC), a smarter Always On (AON) co-processor, and substantial improvements in platform power based on 12nm process technology. The company promises to provide enhanced experiences in the interactive, ambient, sports, and watch modes of the devices with a reduced impact on the battery.

Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms have two variants: the first, Snapdragon Wear 4100+, includes the main SoC and the Always On (AON) co-processor, in addition to the PMIC, RF, and RFFE chips. And the second, Snapdragon Wear 4100 offers the same equipment except for the AON co-processor. Both are compatible with the Android open-source platform and with Wear OS by Google OS.

The new platform offers 85% faster performance than Snapdragon Wear 3100 and provides smoother device operation. This is possible thanks to the new SoC consisting of quad-core A53 processors, Adreno 504 class graphics processing, faster LPDDR3 memory (750 MHz), and dual ISPs with support for up to16 megapixel cameras.

Power consumption is 25% lower than that of the previous generation. This is possible primarily due to 12nm process technology and dual DSP that provides optimal workload division, among other enhancements. It works with 4G LTE modem connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi.

Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and Snapdragon Wear 4100 are now available. The first smartwatches that will equip the Snapdragon 4100 platforms will hit the market soon.

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