Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon Chips Bring The Power To Your Wrist

InnovationWearable Tech
snapdragon wear

Dedicated platform will allow for thinner, sleeker wearables packing more battery life

Qualcomm has announced a new family of Snapdragon processors, including Snapdragon Wear, its first chip designed specifically for wearable devices, that promises to give future smartwatches and headsets more power and battery life.

Elsewhere, the company also revealed three smartphone processors that should bring advanced mobile features to more mid-range devices, and a powerful new modem that is the first in the world to sport ‘Gigabit Class’ LTE technology.


Moto 360 motorola smartwatchThe Snapdragon Wear 2100 is Qualcomm’s first direct foray into wearable technology devices, with the Snapdragon 400 processor used to power nearly every Android Wear-powered device on the market today.

Qualcomm, traditionally strong in smartphones and tablets, is now looking to extend its dominance into wearables with a dedicated platform.

It is available for developers and manufacturers to begin using from today, with LG confirming it is already planning the launch of a new device powered by the chipset soon.

Available in both tethered (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) and connected (4G/LTE and 3G) versions, the Snapdragon Wear 2100 is 30 percent smaller than a Snapdragon 400, allowing wearables manufacturers to create thinner and sleeker designs.

The new chip also uses 25 percent less power than its predecessor, meaning devices using the chip will enjoy a longer battery life, even when connected to super-fast LTE networks using the Snapdragon Wear 2100’s next-generation LTE modem.

Lastly, thanks to an integrated, ultra-low power sensor hub, Snapdragon Wear 2100 will be able to pack in smarter, more developed sensors than ever before, meaning devices featuring the chip will be able to carry out more advanced functions alongside the likes of fitness tracking.

Power up

qualcomm snapdragon dragon and chipElsewhere, Qualcomm’s next X16 LTE modem is set to bring faster internet access to smartphones and tablets, supporting speeds of up to 1Gbps through Cat16 LTE networks.

“In addition to serving as a significant milestone for the mobile industry, the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is a powerful testament to Qualcomm’s continued technology leadership in all things wireless,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president at Qualcomm.

“Not only does the Snapdragon X16 blur the lines between wired and wireless broadband, it marks an important step toward 5G as we enable deeper unlicensed spectrum integration with LTE and more advanced MIMO techniques to support growing data consumption and deliver an even faster and smoother user experience.”

As for Qualcomm’s new mobile Snapdragon processors, the Snapdragon 625, 435 and 425 are all mid-tier propositions that should make their debut inside devices announced at Mobile World Congress later this month.

The Snapdragon 625, the most powerful of the three, offers an octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and includes an integrated X9 LTE modem, supporting 4G+ networks. It will also support the capture of 4K video, 24MP rear camera photos, and up to 13MP front-facing cameras.

“We develop all of our processor technologies with scalability in mind, so that we can quickly and cost effectively accelerate the availability of premium tier capabilities within the rest of our portfolio of Snapdragon processors, making superior user experiences more accessible to a broader range of consumers,” added Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“This approach allows us to quickly expand our custom feature development, rapidly deploy compatible software across tiers, and enhance our ability to integrate application and connectivity solutions with leading user experiences to meet our customers’ needs at multiple price points quickly and effectively.”

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Author: Mike Moore
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