Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Industry | By Jeannie Evans

Qualcomm is building better chips for Wear OS

Qualcomm is building better chips for Wear OS

This will then be followed up with other Wear OS smartwatches for the holiday season.

Qualcomm's senior director of wearables, Pankaj Kedia, has announced that Qualcomm will unveil a successor to its aging Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform this Fall. The new chip is created to be smaller (as you would expect considering the 2100 used a 28nm build process) resulting in smaller smartwatches and provide a full fitness experience, all while making the battery last longer.

Meant to bridge the gap between the high-end Snapdragon 800 family and the mid-range 600 series, a number of Qualcomm Snapdragon 7xx processors are slated to ship to consumers later this year inside "affordable high-tier" smartphones.

Obviously, the 730 is supposed to be the punchier of the two unreleased chipsets, but believe it or not, it could one-up the 10 nm FinFET LPP fabrication process of the Snapdragon 845 flagship, adopting a smaller, more energy-efficient 8-nanometer LPP (Low Power Plus) node.

Qualcomm began work on the new platform immediately following the launch of the 2100, and has used the intervening years to observe consumers and brands expectations and requirements within the wearables landscape. All the variants of the chipset will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as standard, while the fitness versions will sport Global Positioning System as well.

As for the new processors, Kedia says they will be "designed from the ground up for a no-compromises smartwatch experience".

"A smartwatch is first and foremost a watch, it needs to look good, it needs to be sleek, it needs to look good when I'm looking at it or when I'm not looking at it". We've heard about a hybrid LG watch with mechanical hands and a touchscreen, which could be exactly what is being hinted at here.

He also confirmed new upgrades when it comes to health and fitness as well as battery life, but exact differences between the new platform and the existing Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset are unclear. It shouldn't be black and white when the user isn't looking at it.

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