Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC Enables Slimmer, Longer Lasting Smartwatches

Qualcomm unveiled a brand new mobile processor today, just don't expect to find it inside any upcoming smartphones or tablets. Instead, the company's new Snapdragon Wear 2100 System-on-Chip (SoC) is designed for the growing wearables market, and specifically for next-generation smartwatches.

Size and certainly battery life are perhaps the two most important traits of a smartwatch. The Snapdragon Wear 2100 helps in both regards—according to Qualcomm, the new SoC is 30 percent smaller than previous generation wearables, which in turn will allow for thinner and sleeker product designs. And because it consumes 25 percent less power, smartwatch makers can balance the benefits of offering better battery life with more advanced features.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100

Qualcomm's offering two versions of its Snapdragon Wear 2100 silicon—tethered and connected. The former uses low power Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while the latter ups the ante by adding a next-generation LTE modem (4G/LTE and 3G) to the mix. Qualcomm says the modem's designed to stream music, answer calls, send messages, and more, all from the wearable itself.

"The Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor is the cornerstone of the Snapdragon Wear platform, which also includes a full suite of silicon, software, and support tools. In addition, multiple ODM designs are available and can accelerate the design process for a diverse range of full-featured wearables," Qualcomm says.

Qualcomm's main target here is the smartwatch category, but the company says its Snapdragon Wear 2100 can also be used in things like tracking devices (kids and elderly), connected headsets, smart eyewear, and so on.

A bunch of wearables based on the Snapdragon Wear 2100 are already in development, though Qualcomm stopped short of naming exactly which ones.