Qualcomm launching a new chipset for wearables

An Android Wear  WearOS smartwatch

The chipmaker is said to have also hinted that the new platform will debut alongside a flagship device sometime this fall. You'll just have to wait for Qualcomm's official announcement if you're wondering how much battery life it can add to devices and by how much it can shrink smartwatches.

This week, Wareable caught up with Pankaj Kedia, Qualcomm's senior director of wearables, to talk about the future and if Qualcomm has any plans to help revive Android wearables.

Originally watches were built using Snapdragon 400 processor which was a slight modification of a phone chip; this was succeeded by the Snapdragon Wear 2100 system-on-chip at the start of 2016. The new platform will be announced this fall alongside a lead smartwatch, he revealed, and by the holidays several partners will have Wear OS smartwatches with the new chipset on the market. Expect to hear more about this chip in the coming months.

Kedia confirmed some of the key features of the new platform as well as the fact it's the first goal built chips for Wear OS smartwatches.

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All chips will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as standard, while fitness and sports-focused chips will have Global Positioning System. You can expect all the variants to have WiFi and Bluetooth, but some will also have Global Positioning System and LTE.

A change in chip architecture and design could result in the next Snapdragon Wear paving the way for more battery-efficient smartwatches with more interesting or practical designs that boost the appeal of Wear OS devices without compromising on their connectivity or potential processing power.

Presumably, a new chipset launched in 2018 would features a smaller process size than the 2100's 28nm.

In regards to this latter category, Google notes that fitness brands are not happy with the current black and white ambient display as it does not look good. Unfortunately, Kedia didn't get more specific than that. A longer battery life also means fitness devices' heart sensors, motion trackers and other features will be able to last longer.

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