Qualcomm To Release New Wearable Chip After Two Years

Qualcomm will be releasing a new system-on-chip lineup designed for smartwatches and other wearables this fall, more than two and a half years after it debuted the Snapdragon Wear 2100 series. In an interview with Wareable, the company's senior director of wearables Pankaj Kedia confirmed the new silicon is in the works and will be powering multiple devices set to be released this holiday season. The fall announcement of the chip itself will be accompanied with a debut of a flagship smartwatch featuring the same solution, Mr. Kedia revealed.

Unlike the Snapdragon Wear 2100 which was a modified version of a mobile solution, Qualcomm's third-generation wearable platform will be built for smartwatches "from the ground up" so as to make the most of that form factor meant to fit comfortably on one's wrist. The San Diego, California-based tech giant has often been criticized over the fact that it's the only relevant chipmaker in the global wearable segment yet hasn't followed up on the Snapdragon Wear 2100 series for over two years now, with new smartwatch models hence not being able to significantly surpass even their 2016 predecessors in terms of pure performance given how their manufacturers were forced to adopt the same underlying technology meant to fuel them.

The new silicon lineup is said to be specifically designed with always-on displays in mind, Mr. Kedia said, suggesting Qualcomm will be particularly focused on delivering an energy-efficient solution that will "significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem." While Google is presently in the process of rolling out an update that rebrands Android Wear 2.0 on eligible devices, the smartwatch market as a whole is largely stagnating. Fossil said it will be releasing more Wear OS offerings going forward and LG is planning to commercialize at least one such product this year, with its upcoming Watch Timepiece being a hybrid gadget that features both a touchscreen and physical clock arms, according to information obtained by AndroidHeadlines last month. Qualcomm will presumably start offering samples of its new chip to its OEM partners in the coming months.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]