Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+. The new socs for wearables are a big step forward from the predecessors. The 12nm-socs offer 85 percent higher CPU performance and a 2.5x faster GPU, according to the manufacturer.
Until now, Qualcomm’s Wear socs used Cortex-A7 cores made at 28nm. Now the chip designer is switching to much more powerful Cortex-A53 cores and a much smaller 12nm process. Despite the increased CPU and GPU power, Qualcomm’s new socs are 20 percent more efficient than predecessors, according to Qualcomm.
The Snapdragon Wear 4100 socs next Snapdragon Wear 3100 models from 2018 on. These, in turn, were almost the same as the Snapdragon Wear 2100 socs from 2016. In the 3100 series, an efficient co-processor based on a Cortex-M0 core was added and an improved version of this is present in the Snapdragon Wear 4100 +.
The new socs contain four Cortex-A53 cores with a speed of up to 1.7GHz. There is support for lpddr3 memory at 750MHz and the gpu is an Adreno 504. Older Wear socs had to make do with Cortex-A7 cores at 1.1GHz, lpddr3 memory at 400MHz and an Adreno 304 gpu. The chips have an integrated lte-cat-4 modem for a 4G connection with a download speed of up to 150Mbit / s and upload of 50Mbit / s.
The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ has a so-called always on co-processor. It is an improved version of the QCC1110 that was introduced with the Snapdragon Wear 3100. This economical chip with one Cortex-M0 core can be used for simple functions, such as displaying the time or a pedometer. The new version supports up to 64,000 colors, which was 16 colors. This co-processor is missing from the Snapdragon Wear 4100.
Qualcomm already supplies the socs to wearables manufacturers. According to the chip maker, imoo and Mobvoi are the first manufacturers to release Snapdragon Wear 4100 watches. The former makes smartwatches aimed at children. Mobvoi comes with a new version of its TicWatch Pro. Samsung and Apple, which own a large share of the wearables market, use their own socs.