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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 4100 promises faster Wear OS smartwatches

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 4100 promises faster Wear OS smartwatches 1
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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 4100 promises faster Wear OS smartwatches 2

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 4100 guarantees sooner Put on OS smartwatches

Qualcomm is saying two new Put on OS processors at the moment, the Snapdragon Put on 4100 Plus and the Snapdragon Put on 4100, the primary main updates to its smartwatch platform since 2018. Qualcomm claims the brand new chips could have vastly improved pace, with a “considerably sooner new processor,” and large jumps in efficiency for the GPU, reminiscence, digicam, and general battery life.

They’re massive guarantees, however put merely, Google’s Put on OS badly wants this sort of {hardware} overhaul. The final main revision to the Snapdragon Put on lineup, the Snapdragon Put on 3100, was a minor replace to 2016’s Snapdragon 2100. In truth, on condition that the 2100 and 3100 have the very same essential processor, the debut of the 4100 marks the primary concrete pace enhancements for Put on OS in about 4 years.

The most important adjustments are within the processor, which is leaping from a 28nm course of to a 12nm one, with 4 A53 CPU cores clocked at 1.7GHz changing the 3100’s A7 cores (at simply 1.1GHz), which Qualcomm says ought to ship greater than 85 p.c sooner efficiency. The GPU is now Adreno A504 (as much as two and a half instances sooner than the 3100), together with sooner reminiscence.

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Qualcomm is taking a barely completely different method with the 4100 line, although. It’s really delivery two SKUs to builders. The flagship mannequin is the Snapdragon 4100 Plus, which (just like the 3100 earlier than it) is a hybrid platform that options the primary SDM429w SoC, together with an up to date model of the always-on QCC1110 co-processor that it launched with the 3100. However for builders that don’t need or want to supply always-on options, Qualcomm will even provide an ordinary Snapdragon Put on 4100 mannequin, which simply gives the SDM429w SoC.

For the Snapdragon 4100 Plus, although, the QCC1110 co-processor — which handles the ambient show mode widespread to most fashionable smartwatches — can also be getting some enhancements. These embody the flexibility to show vastly extra colours — as many as 64,000, up from the 16 colours that the 3100 may present — in addition to help for brand spanking new options when in “watch mode” like step monitoring, steady heart-rate monitoring, alarms, haptic suggestions, and extra (which beforehand needed to depend on the primary processor).

The shift to the brand new 12nm CPU structure (together with different, extra technical enhancements) additionally implies that watches with a Snapdragon 4100 ought to see as much as 25 p.c higher battery life.

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Qualcomm is already delivery its Put on 4100 and 4100 Plus chipsets to {hardware} producers, with the primary gadgets set to reach within the coming months. Mobvoi has already introduced that it’s engaged on a brand new TicWatch mannequin that may characteristic the brand new chips, and Xiaotiancai is engaged on a kid-friendly smartwatch powered by the Put on 4100, too.

On paper, at the very least, these are the types of huge enhancements that Qualcomm wanted to make to assist enhance the struggling Put on OS {hardware} ecosystem (which is nearly solely reliant on Qualcomm’s platform at this level) again into the aggressive sport.

However the smartwatch world is a really completely different place now than it was in 2016, when the final main enhancements to Qualcomm’s processor arrived, and even 2018. Put on OS is basically dominated by vogue manufacturers like Fossil, however the whole smartwatch ecosystem itself is dominated by Samsung’s Gear line and the Apple Watch.

Google’s personal ambitions to make a flagship smartwatch are up within the air. The corporate’s current announcement that it intends to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion could also be a approach for it to beef up its {hardware} division to make higher Put on OS watches — or it could be for one thing else solely.

After years of lackluster {hardware} and a seemingly apathetic Google in relation to growing new Put on OS software program options, the query is whether or not Qualcomm’s new chip is simply too late for Google’s smartwatch experiment.

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