Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon 4100 smartwatch platforms, consisting of the Snapdragon Put on 4100+ and the Snapdragon Put on 4100. These new smartwatch SoCs are designed for next-generation linked smartwatches and primarily based on Qualcomm’s ultra-low-power hybrid structure. To supply higher context to this information launch, let’s delve into the background of Wear OS first.
The primary Android Wear smartwatches had been launched in 2014. For some time, Android Put on appeared the following massive factor after big-screen smartphones. There was the much-hyped first-generation Moto 360, the halo Android Put on watch. There have been in style watches launched by Huawei, ASUS, and others. Android Put on even arrived on the market a number of months forward of the Apple Watch. Nonetheless, all of those early efforts fizzled out. The second-generation Moto 360 by no means acquired an official successor. Different corporations withdrew from releasing new Android Put on watches. The Apple Watch was launched in early 2015, and the remainder is historical past. It’s now by far the most well-liked smartwatch on this planet, and the consensus of the trade agrees that Android Put on – re-branded by Google as Put on OS in 2018 – is way behind. Whereas Apple is now the most important watch firm on this planet, Put on OS watches endure from the catch-22 problems with poor worth, lack of client curiosity, lack of imaginative and prescient, and a lot extra.
Some blame for that lies on Google for failing to make Put on OS nearly as good because it might be after displaying promise at first. However many reviewers would place a bigger part of the blame on Qualcomm. All Put on OS smartwatches are powered by particular low-power Qualcomm SoCs. The issue is that Qualcomm had been reluctant to innovate within the smartwatch SoC entrance. The discharge of the Snapdragon 3100 in 2018 was solely a light increment over the Snapdragon 2100 in 2016. The Snapdragon 3100 nonetheless featured comparatively historic ARM Cortex-A7 cores manufactured on a comparatively historic 28nm course of, at a time when Apple’s smartwatch SoCs and Samsung’s low-power Exynos SoCs moved to way more environment friendly 14nm after which 10nm processes. Apple and Samsung are the 2 main gamers within the smartwatch market, and each of them use customized working methods within the type of watchOS and Tizen respectively. Put on OS has been a second class citizen for too a few years now, and consumer curiosity in new Put on OS smartwatches is lackluster, to say the least, however it nonetheless offers one of many higher choices which are suitable with Android smartphones.
Qualcomm, although, hasn’t given up on the smartwatch market but.
Practically two years after asserting the Snapdragon Put on 3100, the corporate has launched its successor within the type of the Snapdragon Put on 4100+ (sure, that is the chip we first thought was to be the Snapdragon Put on 3300). It’s the primary Qualcomm smartwatch SoC to be made on a contemporary course of node: 12nm FinFET. It’s additionally the primary Qualcomm smartwatch SoC to undertake ARM Cortex-A53 cores, lastly transferring on from the 32-bit Cortex-A7.
The Snapdragon Put on 4100 platforms are mentioned to deliver super-fast efficiency and connectivity, a wiser co-processor, and an ultra-lower energy platform. The substantial enhancements in platform energy have been achieved by transferring to a 12nm course of. This isn’t cutting-edge as Samsung’s Exynos 9110 is produced on a extra environment friendly 10nm course of, however it ought to nonetheless present monumental enhancements over the 28nm course of that powers the Snapdragon Put on 3100.
Qualcomm notes that the wearable trade has seen robust progress over the previous couple of years (whilst Put on OS loses steam). In line with IDC, the trade is predicted to proceed to develop at an accelerated tempo. The expansion has given rise to segments inside the trade as we are able to now discover a vary of wearables for adults, kids, and seniors, together with focused purposes for sports activities, well being, communication, and vogue. Shoppers’ significance of public well being and well-being will drive accelerated progress in H2 2020 and past, in line with the corporate.
The wearables section requires a versatile structure that delivers nice experiences whereas additionally having prolonged battery life. Qualcomm believes the hybrid structure with an A-Class SoC and an M-Class co-processor is finest suited to assist meet these necessities. To that finish, the Snapdragon Put on 4100+ is a high-performance CPU with improved CPU, GPU, reminiscence, mobile modem, and digital camera sub-systems within the 12nm low processor course of, together with twin devoted DSPs for modem, location and sensors, in addition to audio.
The Snapdragon Put on 4100+ has an AON ultra-low energy co-processor that offloads a sequence of use instances together with show, sensor, maps, and time from the principle CPU. It additionally incorporates a stronger AON software program interface to handle the interactions between the SoC and the co-processor.
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 4100+ makes an effort to tell apart itself from its middling predecessors. The corporate says the SoC’s structure is engineered to ship important enhancements in efficiency, connectivity, smartness, and energy in comparison with its earlier platforms. The smartwatch SoC relies on Qualcomm’s cell Snapdragon 429 SoC. The important thing highlights of each platforms embrace the next:
Quick efficiency and connectivity. The SoC has quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores. The Cortex-A53 was launched because the successor of the Cortex-A7 again in October 2012 – it’s seven years outdated now. Within the smartphone SoC house, it was succeeded by the ARM Cortex-A55 in Could 2017. The Cortex-A53 continues to be an in-order core, however importantly, it’s a 64-bit core (AArch64). Thus, the next-generation Put on OS smartwatches would be the first to have a 64-bit CPU structure. The Cortex-A53 additionally options first rate IPC enhancements over the Cortex-A7, so CPU efficiency shall be quicker. The cores are clocked at as much as 1.7GHz. General, Qualcomm says the SoC delivers 85% efficiency enhancements over its predecessor.
The Cortex-A53 cores are paired with the Adreno 504 GPU, succeeding the Adreno 304 GPU within the Snapdragon Put on 3100. Qualcomm says this brings 2.5x enhancements in GPU efficiency, which shouldn’t be too stunning contemplating how outdated and weak the Adreno 304 was. The Snapdragon Put on 4100+ options quicker LPDDR3 reminiscence (750MHz) and twin ISPs with help for as much as 16MP cameras, though the final specification is redundant.
The brand new IP enhances the Snapdragon Put on 4100’s general consumer expertise with quicker app launches, concurrent use instances, smoother and extra responsive UX, and richer photograph and video experiences, in line with Qualcomm.
Connectivity. Qualcomm says the 4G LTE mode of the SoC, primarily based on 12nm know-how, has been considerably improved in comparison with its predecessor, and it has a devoted DSP, low energy options equivalent to eDRX, platform-level energy administration, help for Cat 4/3/1 and single/twin antennas.
Smarter All the time-On (AON) Co-Processor. The improved AON co-processor helps higher offloaded experiences. Qualcomm has partitioned reminiscence and efficiency to allow as much as 64Okay colours and has prolonged offload experiences to incorporate steady coronary heart charge monitoring, sleep for well being and health, quicker tilt-to-wake responsiveness, step counting, alarms, timers, and haptics for a extra succesful conventional watch mode.
Extremely-low energy platform. The low energy optimizations embrace 12nm course of know-how, twin DSPs for optimum workload partitioning, help for dynamic clock and voltage scaling (DVFS), Qualcomm Sensor Assisted Positioning PDR Wearables 2.0, low energy location monitoring help, and an enhanced Bluetooth 5.Zero structure. Mixed, these enhancements are designed to ship greater than 25% energy reductions throughout key use instances – bringing deliver prolonged battery life to the platform in comparison with its predecessors.
“Richer, enhanced experiences.” The hybrid platform within the Snapdragon Put on 4100+ is claimed to deliver wealthy, enhanced experiences throughout interactive, ambient, sports activities, and watch modes. Qualcomm particulars this by explaining that in interactive mode, the platform helps extra “immersive experiences” with digital camera, voice assistant, and voice/video messaging. In ambient mode, the rise in variety of colours from 16 to 64Okay and quantity kerning is designed to enhance readability and provide extra thrilling design choices as properly. In sports activities mode, offloaded maps improve the on-the-go expertise. Lastly, the normal watch mode contains options equivalent to coronary heart charge, steps, alarms, reminders, and battery indicator with a “minimal affect” on efficiency or battery life.
Qualcomm says the first Snapdragon Put on 4100 platform-based merchandise will ship later this 12 months. A number of corporations have introduced smartwatches primarily based on the Snapdragon Put on 4100 in concurrence with Qualcomm’s enhancement. This contains imoo’s next-generation Z6 Extremely smartwatch primarily based on the Snapdragon Put on 4100. imoo is a number one model for child smartwatches, and the Z6 Extremely is predicted to start out transport over the following month. It will likely be the primary smartwatch to make use of Qualcomm’s new platform.
Mobvoi can be asserting its next-generation TicWatch Professional smartwatches primarily based on the Snapdragon Put on 4100 platform. The corporate says it’s the primary model to announce its subsequent watch primarily based on the Snapdragon 4100 and Put on OS.
The Snapdragon 4100 platforms are available two variants. The Snapdragon Put on 4100+ contains the principle SoC (SDM429w or SDA429w) and the AON Co-Processor (QCC1110), together with the companion chips together with PMIC, RF for modem/GPS and Wi-Fi/BT, and RFFE (radio frequency front-end). The Snapdragon Put on 4100, alternatively, consists of the principle SoC together with the companion chips, which suggests it lacks the AON co-processor.
The Snapdragon Put on 4100 platforms help each AOSP and Put on OS by Google. They’re accessible and transport now to shoppers. For extra details about them, readers can head to Qualcomm’s website.