Qualcomm has announced two new smartwatch SoCs to replace the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform announced in 2018. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ also promise significant advances in performance and energy efficiency. The 4100 chip represents the main SoC, while the plus sign indicates the presence of an auxiliary processor packaged with it. The latter acts as the always-active chip, which is designed to perform non-active tasks with low power consumption, so the device is intended by the manufacturer to come with “always on” functionality.
The 4100 chips finally let go of their predecessor. also used Cortex-A7 cores – which had plenty of time since they were slowly announced by ARM seven years ago. Aging units with a bandwidth of 28 nanometers will be replaced by Cortex-A53 cores based on a 12-nanometer manufacturing process, which provide a promising foundation for next-generation smartwatches, even if they do not use the chip manufacturer’s cutting-edge 7-nanometer day   “/>
In the new SoCs, four of the A53 cores work at 1.7 GHz with an Adreno A504 GPU – the latter is now two generations ahead of the Adreno 304 in the Wear 3100 in comparison. However, the new chips from memory only support LPDDR3.
In contrast to its predecessor, in addition to the modem DSP, there is also a dedicated audio DSP, and even two ISPs with which the SoCs can handle up to two 16-megapixel cameras according to the paper format – this is not excluded, that later unorthodox, even multi-camera smartwatches may come to light. The devices also feature an LTE cat4 modem.
Overall, Qualcomm promises a 20 percent reduction in power consumption from the Wear 4100 series over its predecessor, with an 85 percent increase in CPU performance – and even more spectacular, two-and-a-half gains in GPU performance. The platform is now available to manufacturers, so the first smartwatches based on it may appear later this year.
Gellert is Technology Editor at Counting News Media and contributor at other major tech publications. Her interests includes testing new gadgets and reading.