Qualcomm to build new Wear OS chips

Qualcomm to build new Wear OS chips

Qualcomm announced earlier this week that they have been working with Google ahead of the Android P developer preview release to "pre-integrate" support for the next version of the operating system with Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices, specifically devices with Snapdragon 845, 660 and 636.

But Qualcomm's wearables director Pankaj Kedia told, er, Wareable that the chipmaker will announce an updated wearables-centric processor in the Autumn alongside a flagship smartwatch. Having recently rebranded the smartwatch OS formerly known as Android Wear, Google hopes the number of iPhone users buying Wear smartwatches will continue to swell - but the bedrock on which these wearables are built is starting to fossilize.

Qualcomm began work on the new platform immediately following the launch of the 2100, and has used the intervening years to observe consumers and brands expectations and requirements within the wearables landscape.

Kedia said that unlike Qualcomm's old chip that's merely a modified phone SoC, the upcoming one was built "from the ground up".

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A change in chip architecture and design could result in the next Snapdragon Wear paving the way for more battery-efficient smartwatches with more interesting or practical designs that boost the appeal of Wear OS devices without compromising on their connectivity or potential processing power. All chips will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as standard, while fitness and sports-focused chips will have Global Positioning System.

Presumably, a new chipset launched in 2018 would features a smaller process size than the 2100's 28nm. Google focused instead on selling the aging technology via established watch and fashion brands: Guess, Hugo BOSS, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, and Armani all sell branded Google Wear OS wrist-bling. Battery life is also expected to be improved by a substantial margin.

Battery life will see a "significant" boost and there will be better health features, like longer heart rate monitoring.

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