US chip supplier Qualcomm has released two new system-on-chip (SOC) platforms, the Snapdragon W5+ and W5, for wearable devices such as smartwatches. Qualcomm said that it has made the platforms available to multiple companies including Oppo and Mobvoi and 25 new devices based on it are already in the pipeline.
The Oppo Watch 3 series, which will be launched in August, will be based on Snapdragon W5, while Mobvoi’s smartwatches based on the Snapdragon W5+ are expected to launch after September.
Qualcomm said that the new platforms are based on 4nm process technology and are designed for wearables to last longer in terms of battery backup. The company claims that it consumes 50% less power, can muster 2X better performance and is 30% smaller in comparison to previous generation snapdragon chips for wearables.
In addition to the 4nm SoC, the platforms also include a 22nm-based always-on co-processor. The platform also offers low-power Bluetooth 5.3 architecture, low-power Wi-Fi, and features such as Deep Sleep and Hibernate that will enhance battery life. It uses the Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) for GPS connectivity.
According to Qualcomm, two reference designs for wearables based on the new platforms have been created by Compal and Pegatron. These designs will help customers develop products faster, the company added.
Pankaj Kedia, global head of smart wearables at Qualcomm Technologies, called the new wearable platforms the “most advanced leap yet” by Qualcomm. He added that the new platforms will solve some of the biggest limitations of wearables devices by delivering high performance on ultra-low power.
Kedia further pointed out that the unprecedented growth in the wearable industry presents opportunities across multiple segments.
He has a point. According to a May report by International Data Corporation (IDC), India shipped 13.9 million wearable devices including watches, wristbands, and earwear in the first quarter of 2022 at a double-digit growth rate of 20.1% year-on-year (YoY).