Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon W5 Chips for Wearables

Qualcomm on Tuesday announced the launch of its latest chips for wearable devices, the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5 Gen 1. It looks like the company’s “Gen 1” branding for microprocessors is here to stay.

Qualcomm’s next-generation wearable platforms promise 50% lower power consumption (and therefore 50% longer battery life), double the performance, and twice the features, all in a physical footprint that’s 30% smaller and thinner.

The W5+ and W5 chips are both based on a hybrid architecture, with the purpose-built platform comprising a cutting-edge 4nm system-on-chip (SoC) paired with a 22nm always-on co-processor. Qualcomm’s hybrid architecture allows the new platforms to offer always-on features like what the company calls “Always sensing Health-n-fitness Experiences.”

“The wearables industry continues to grow and present opportunities across multiple segments at an unprecedented pace,” said Pankaj Kedia, Qualcomm’s senior director of product marketing and global head of Smart Wearables.

“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.”

Qualcomm’s W5+ and W5 chips bring several new innovations to wearables, including ultra-low power Bluetooth® 5.3, low power islands for Wi-Fi, GNSS, and Audio, and all-new low power states like Deep Sleep and Hibernate.

The new chips will underpin several upcoming wearables powered by Google’s Wear OS and more.  Qualcomm’s first customers are Oppo and Mobvoi, which have 25 new devices featuring the two chips in the pipeline.

In addition, the company has partnered with Compal and Apple supplier Pegatron to create reference designs for wearables powered by the new Snapdragon W5+ and W5 chips.

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