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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  • LordConrad - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    I think I would rather have an underclocked Snapdragon 425 in my next Smart Watch. Maybe drop the 425 down to 1GHz, this should be plenty fast for wearables.
  • Kalelovil - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Is this a new SoC or just a rebadging of the Snapdragon 210 with lowered clocks?
    (It would explains odd choices for a wearable such as the quad core CPU)
  • mforce - Friday, February 12, 2016 - link

    Quad core does make sense because A7 cores are really small silicon wise so 2 extra ones don't take up much more space on the chips and if needed cores can just be shut down or put into really low power mode.

    It's better to have more cores running in low power mode ( at a low frequency ) than to have less ( 2 or one ) running at full speed and having to switch through tasks more often. While you might only be using one app keep in mind that Android has many background threads that need to run.

    So from a power perspective quad core does make sens and yes there's also the marketing, it just sounds better.

    Btw the Blocks watch will be using this SOC, as a backer that ordered one I'm looking forward to it.

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