Qualcomm is gearing up to introduce a new platform for smartwatches. The new system on chip for wearables will be coming in the form of Snapdragon Wear 5100 and 5100+ platforms. According to reports, they will bring significant performance gain over the current Snapdragon Wear 4100 generation. Both the new chips will be fabbed on Samsung Semiconductor’s 4nm process. So we’re about to see a new platform for wearables that has the same architecture as current smartphone flagship chipsets. Of course, the benefits of a super-efficient node will be notable on a smartwatch that has a limited battery capacity due to the small form factor. Therefore, energy efficiency is a determinant factor here.
Snapdragon Wear 5100 and Snapdragon Wear 5100+ specs
The Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 5100 uses a molded laser package (MLP) that separates SoC and power management IC. The Wear 5100 Plus will use a molded embedded package instead. It has the SoC and PMI integrated into the same package. Furthermore, the plus model will bring an additional QCC5100 co-processor that uses ARM Cortex-M55 core used in various smart wearables like modern Bluetooth headsets. The co-processor will handle data and Bluetooth connection including notifications completely on its own while the Wear 5100+ will handle the tasks that require more brute force.
The remaining specifications for the Snapdragon Wear 5100 and 5100 Plus include four ARM Cortex-A53 cores. They may be a little old at this point, but again, this is a wearable processor and does not really have cutting-edge performance. Power efficiency is more important. The cores are clocked at up to 1.7 GHz and there is an Adreno 702 GPU handling the graphical tasks working at 700 MHz. Both platforms will have support for LPDDR4X RAM, eMMC 5.1 Storage and will feature an ISP to handle up to two camera sensors with 1080p video recording.
As per the report, the two chips will have full compatibility with Android as well as Google’s Wear OS. Worth noting, that both the Snapdragon Wear 5100 and 5100+ are still in the development stage. Therefore, a launch will only happen by late 2022. We don’t know if we’ll be able to see the first smartwatches with it this year, though.
Although Qualcomm already has a better incoming processor, we still expect companies to bet on the Snapdragon 4100 this year. The new platform should become more popular by 2023. However, this is just me speculating. Perhaps, Qualcomm will achieve a partnership with a smartwatch maker to push its new platforms forward.