The new Snapdragon 4100 from Qualcomm offers urgently needed improvements for the next Wear OS watches

Qualcomm today announced two new Wear OS processors, Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus and Snapdragon Wear 4100, the first major updates to its smartwatch platform from 2018. Qualcomm claims that the new chips have significantly improved speed with a “significantly faster” processor will have. , And big in performance for GPU, memory, camera and the entire battery life. Qualcomm

There are big promises, but the Google Wear operating system only needs this kind of hardware overhaul. The last major overhaul of the Snapdragon Wear line, the Snapdragon Wear 3100, was a slight improvement on the Snapdragon 2100 in 2016. Given that the 2100 and 3100 have exactly the same main processor, the debut of the 4100 marks the first real speed. Wear OS improvements in about four years.

Finally a faster processor to carry the operating system

The biggest changes are recorded in the processor, which changes from a 28 nm process to a 12 nm process. Four A53 processor cores clocked at 1.7 GHz replace the 3100 A7 cores (only 1.1 GHz) that Qualcomm takes care of, saying it should deliver over 85 percent faster performance. The GPU is now the Adreno A504 (up to two and a half times faster than the 3100), along with faster memory.

However, Qualcomm takes a slightly different approach to line 4100. In reality, it sends two SKUs to developers. The pilot model is the Snapdragon 4100 Plus, which (just like the 3100 before) is a hybrid platform that includes the main SoC SDM429w as well as an updated version of the QCC1110 co-processor that was always introduced with the 3100. But for developers who want or do not always have to provide functions, Qualcomm also offers a standard Snapdragon Wear 4100 model that only SoM SDM429w offers.For the Snapdragon 4100 Plus, however, the QCC1110 co-processor, which manages the environment display mode common to most modern smartwatches, has also been improved. This includes the ability to display many more colors – up to 64,000 of the 16 colors that 3100 could display – and support for new features in view mode, such as: B. step tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, alarms. , haptic feedback and more (which previously had to be based on the main processor).The transition to the new 12nm processor architecture (along with other technical improvements) also means that watches with a Snapdragon 4100 should offer a 25% longer lifespan.Qualcomm already supplies Wear 4100 and 4100 Plus chip sets to hardware manufacturers. The first devices will be available in the coming months. Mobvoi has already announced that it is working on a new Tic Watch model that will contain the new chips, and Xiaotiancai is working on a child-friendly smartwatch with Wear 4100.At least on paper, these were the big improvements Qualcomm had to make to stimulate the Wear OS hardware ecosystem (which is currently almost entirely based on the Qualcomm platform) in the competitive game.But the smartwatch world is now a very different place from 2016, when the last major improvements to the Qualcomm processor or even 2018 arrived. Wear OS is largely dominated by fashion brands like Fossil, but the entire smartwatch ecosystem is dominated by the Samsung Gear Line and Apple Watch.


Google’s own ambitions to create a smartwatch emblem are there. The company’s recent announcement to buy Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion could be a way to upgrade its hardware division to make Wear OS watches better – or it could be something else entirely.After years of lightless hardware and an apparently apathetic Google in the development of new Wear OS software functions, the question arises whether the new chip from Qualcomm is too late for Google’s intelligent experiment.

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