Qualcomm launches Snapdragons for wearables

  • July 20, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson
Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 block diagram.

Qualcomm has introduced platforms to advance low power and performance for connected wearables with a focus on extended battery life, better user experiences and innovative designs.

By using the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and W5 Gen 1, manufacturers can scale, differentiate and develop products faster in the continuously growing and segmenting wearables industry.

Enhancements to the flagship Snapdragon W5+ platform offer 50% lower power, twice the performance, double the number of features and 30% smaller size, compared with the previous generation, enabling wearable manufacturers to deliver differentiated experiences for consumers.

Based on the hybrid architecture, the purpose-built platform is comprised of a 4nm-based system-on-chip and 22nm-based integrated always-on co-processor. It incorporates platform innovations including the Bluetooth 5.3 architecture, low power islands for wifi, GNSS and audio, and low power states such as deep sleep and hibernate.

“The wearables industry continues to grow and present opportunities across multiple segments at an unprecedented pace,” said Pankaj Kedia, senior director at Qualcomm. “The new wearable platforms – Snapdragon W5+ and Snapdragon W5 – represent our most advanced leap yet. Purpose-built for next-generation wearables, these platforms address the most pressing consumer needs by delivering ultra-low power, breakthrough performance and highly integrated packaging. Additionally, we extend our proven hybrid architecture with new low power innovations such as deep sleep and hibernate states delighting consumers with premium user experiences while extending battery life.”

Bjorn Kilburn, senior director of Wear OS at Google, added: “Google and Qualcomm have a longstanding history of helping our partners deliver great user experiences. We applaud the technological breakthroughs that Qualcomm is bringing to the wearables industry with the launch of its Snapdragon W5+ platform. With the Snapdragon W5+ platform, we’re excited for what’s possible in bringing new levels of performance, capability and battery life to Wear OS smartwatches.”

Kedia said Qualcomm would be working with a range of customers and partners, expanding its wearables ecosystem. He said there were 25 designs in the pipeline across segments based on the platforms.

“We have collaborated extensively with our first customers, Oppo and Mobvoi, over the last year and look forward to seeing their products,” said Kedia.

Franco Li, Oppo associate vice president, added: “The announcement of the latest Snapdragon W5 wearable platform will bring smart wearable technology to a new level. Oppo and Qualcomm have closely collaborated for a long time, creating new possibilities of product innovation together. The Oppo Watch 3 series will be launched in August. As the first smartwatch powered by Snapdragon W5 wearable platform, it will delight our users with better performance.”

And Zhifei Li, CEO of Mobvoi, said: “Mobvoi has collaborated with Qualcomm over the last few years to launch a series of TicWatch smartwatches based on the Snapdragon Wear platforms. Our team is excited about the differentiated features in the new Snapdragon W5+ wearable platform and has been working closely with the Qualcomm team to bring these innovations to life in our next gen TicWatch flagship smartwatch. We are eager to launch our latest offering this fall and are thrilled to be the first smartwatches based on the Snapdragon W5+ Gen1 wearable platform.”

Qualcomm also announced two reference designs from Compal and Pegatron, which showcase the capabilities of the platform and its collaboration with ecosystem partners, helping develop products faster.