With the wearables market gaining more and more traction the lack of a powerful low power SOC is holding back OEMs from making competitive hardware. Today Qualcomm announced their third line up of Wearable SOC, the Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform.
Comprising of two chip SKUs the Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+ Qualcomm has modernised, shrunk down and improved the performance of their wearable offerings. The platform has moved to a 12nm fabrication, down from 28nm on the Wear 2100, which hopefully will reduce power usage and increase battery life compared to the last generation.
Looking at Snapdragons chip fabrication lines the Wear 4100 seems to be based on the 2016 snapdragon 425 SOC. The 4100 platform brings other improvements such as 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and a 12nm process technology 4G Modem.
The internal cores for the 4100 comprise 4 x A53 processors clocked up to 1.7 GHz, and an Adreno 505 GPU. Together with LPDDR3 RAM the system provides an 85% performance boost to the Wear 3100 when in full power mode. The Plus variant of the platform also ships with an AON (Always On) Co-processor to provide ultra low power performance for always-on tasks.
Included in these tasks are continuous heart rate monitoring, faster tilt-to-wake responsiveness, steps, alarms, timers, haptics and of course watch faces. This means that the basic watch and fitness aspects of a modern Wearable can be offloaded onto an ultra low power co-processors.
Qualcomm also took the liberty of announcing two new smartwatches from their partners running on the new platform. First up is an old favourite of Ausdroid, Mobvoi who are apparently releasing a new TicWatch Pro using one of the Wear 4100 variants. We’ve reached out to Mobvoi for confirmation and details.
The second device is from imoo, a kid focused smartwatch brand, who will be releasing the Z6 Ultra watch phone utilising the Wear 4100 SOC. The Z6 Ultra hasn’t appeared on the imoo site as yet.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Qualcomm promise a chip that will improve wearables; that said the Wear 3100 was a notable upgrade on the previous generations, and if the Wear 4100 Platform truly delivers up to 85% improvement from the 3100 and the power saving of a dedicated co-processor I have hope this could deliver. I for one am excited to get my wrists on the next line of Wear OS devices.