Qualcomm reportedly testing Snapdragon Wear 5100 and 5100+ chips for wearables
Qualcomm produces most of the chipsets used in high-end smartwatches with Android and Wear OS, with the main exception being the Galaxy Watch 4 series, which uses Samsung’s own chip designs. The last hardware refresh for Qualcomm’s wearable chips was in 2020, with the release of the Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+, and now it looks like another update is on the way.
WinFuture reports that Qualcomm is now testing a new ‘SW5100’ chipset with two variants, which will likely be called the Snapdragon Wear 5100 and 5100+. Both chips allegedly have four ARM Cortex-A53 cores at 1.7GHz (slightly slower than the 2GHz CPU clock on the Wear 4100), with an Adreno 702 GPU at 700 MHz. LPDDR4X RAM and eMMC 5.1 flash memory are supported, with a maximum of 4GB RAM. LTE connectivity and 5GHz Wi-Fi (802.11c) are also available, but there’s no 5G support.
The Snapdragon Wear 5100 will use a “Molded Lesser Package,” or MLP (not to be confused with My Little Pony), with the SoC and the power management controller as separate components. In comparison, the Snapdragon Wear 5100+ will use a “Molded Embedded Package, or MEP, with the SoC and power controller in a combined package. The Wear 5100+ will also use a QCC510 co-processor for an optional low-power mode, similar to the existing Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset, which can perform some tasks (such as recording walking data) without using the main ARM Cortex processor cores.
There’s no telling when these new Snapdragon chips will actually show up in smartwatches, and Qualcomm’s plans could still change. The Snapdragon 4100 series was announced in June of 2020, and the first watch with the Wear 4100 (the TicWatch Pro 3) was released on September 24, 2020. The first mainstream Wear OS watch with the higher-end 4100+, the Fossil Gen 6, didn’t arrive until September 2021. For a few months, Mobvoi was falsely claiming some of its smartwatches used the Wear 4100+.