Qualcomm overhauls smartwatch silicon - Mobile World Live

Qualcomm overhauls smartwatch silicon

30 JUN 2020

Qualcomm updated its smartwatch platform for the first time in two years, bifurcating it into two variants and offering a number of upgrades designed to significantly boost performance and battery life.

The new Snapdragon Wear line comprises the 4100 Plus platform, featuring a primary system-on-chip (SoC) alongside an always-on co-processor; and a lower-level 4100 option, which comes with just the main SoC. Both are compatible with the Android Open Source Platform and Google’s Wear OS.

Key upgrades include a shift to a 12nm manufacturing process, which the vendor said delivers a 25 per cent improvement in battery performance over its Wear 3100 platform from 2018; four new A53 processors for 85 per cent better CPU performance; compatibility with up to two 16MP cameras; and the ability to display 64,000 colours, up from 16.

Pankaj Kedia, global business head for Qualcomm’s smart wearables segment, said the improvements will bring “richer, enhanced experiences to next generation connected smartwatches”.

Children’s smartwatch maker imoo and Mobvoi, the Chinese vendor behind the TicWatch brand, are both planning releases based on the platform, with Finnish watchmaker Suunto also expressing interest.

The update comes as the wearables segment continues a strong growth trend: IDC data showed smartwatch shipments jumped 22.7 per cent to 92.4 million in 2019.

Qualcomm said the silicon is available and shipping today (30 June).



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

Read more