Along with today's announcements of the Snapdragon 425, 435 and 625, we also see the reveal of a new wearables-oriented SoC: the Snapdragon Wear 2100. In the past we've seen vendors use low-end smartphone SoCs such as the Snapdragon 400 (Motorola Moto 360 2nd gen). In fact, to date only Samsung (Exynos 3250) and Apple (S1) were able to employ chipsets that were specifically designed for wearables. This was rather unfortunate for other wearable vendors as devices such as smartwatches require much higher efficiency and lower power than what "off-the-shelf" SoCs were able to offer. Qualcomm sees to fix this by introducing a new lineup of chips called Snapdragon Wear that are designed with wearables in mind. 

The Snapdragon Wear 2100 is a quad-core Cortex A7 running at up to 800MHz or 1.2GHz (Qualcomm at various points states both) with an Adreno 304 GPU and 400MHz LPDDR3. The choice of using a Cortex A7 is warranted by the fact that Cortex A53s are too power hungry for wearables and that it's likely too early to see Cortex A35 based SoCs as ARM announced the core only a couple of months ago. A big advantage that Qualcomm has with the Wear 2100 is that it's able to offer an integrated X5 modem for basic cellular connectivity (Supporting all current standards). 

With the Wear 2100 Qualcomm is now able to offer a fitting SoC for wearable devices and it's very likely that consumers will see direct benefits such as improved battery life. Qualcomm hasn't specified any availability for the SoC but discloses that there are multiple devices in development using the processor.

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  • nandnandnand - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    "This was a rather unfortunate for" -> "This was rather unfortunate for"
    "Qualcomm sees to fix this"???
    "as ARM announce the" -> "as ARM announced the"
  • psychobriggsy - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Meh, only X5 LTE. Not interested unless it's X16. My watch needs 1Gbps.
  • littlebitstrouds - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

  • appleache - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    I need a57 on my wrist for the winter.
  • zodiacsoulmate - Friday, February 12, 2016 - link

    only quad core... i need at least 8 of them to power my wrist
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    If they went with ARMv7, why not opt for the Cortex A5 instead?
  • extide - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Yeah, exactly. A7 = space optimized, A5 = power optimized and most efficient A series core. Although, I am not sure if A5 supports SMP. Plus, they really only need one maybe 2 cores. I would say 2 would be perfect. Quad cores in a WATCH! Geez!
  • DanNeely - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Googling turned up a handful of references to multi-core Cortex-A5 chips.

    I suspect going with A7s either had to do with more familiarity (lower upfront costs from more design reuse); possibly combined with the A5 not having enough performance to keep the UI fluid.
  • alex010203 - Friday, February 26, 2016 - link

  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Qualcomm themselves have dual and quad-core Cortex A5 SoCs. MSM8225 and MSM8225Q for example.

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