Snapdragon Wear 4100+: the new processor for smartwatches makes the jump to 12 nm and improves performance by up to 85%

In late 2018, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon Wear 3100, a smart watch processor with new features. The main and perhaps the most important was the coprocessor for low-performing tasks and designed to extend autonomy. For its new batch of processors, Qualcomm has taken up this idea and improved it. Thus is born the family Snapdragon Wear 4100, consisting of Snapdragon Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+, the latter being the most interesting.

The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ is based on Snapdragon Wear 3100 hybrid architectureIn other words, it has a fast SoC and an Always On coprocessor, but it jumps to 12 nanometers. It is true that in smartphones, we are already opting for the seven nanometers and that the five nanometers are on our doorstep, but this is quite an evolution compared to the previous generation, which was built at 28 nanometers.

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Introducing the Snapdragon Wear 4100+

Snapdragon Wear 4100+ overview.

To better understand this new family of processors for smartwatches, we will focus on the Snapdragon Wear 4100+. The fundamental difference is that the Snapdragon 4100+ includes the main processor, the coprocessor and all the additional chips, such as PMIC, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and RFEE, while the Snapdragon Wear 4100 includes the main processor and the additional processors, but not the coprocessor. In addition, the Wear 4100 supports Wear OS and AOSP and the Wear 4100+ only Wear OS.

That said, we start by reviewing its components. The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ is built on a 12 nanometer process and consists of four ARM Cortex A53 cores at 1.7 Ghz “optimized for wearables”. The main processor can be an SMD529W or SDA429W, while the coprocessor will be a QCC1110.

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Changes from Snapdragon Wear 3100. Changes from Snapdragon Wear 3100.

This secondary processor will be responsible for delivering Always On experiences, such as ambient mode, sports modes, and traditional watch mode. It can operate on its own when tasks do not require raw power from the main processor. This was already done by its predecessor, but there are important changes: instead of being able to represent only 16 colors in ambient mode, can now display 64,000; It has digital kerning to improve the visibility of these, it can display maps and update steps and heart rate in ambient mode, among others.

RAM has also been improved, it’s now 750 MHz LPDDR3 instead of 400 Mhz; and the GPU, which happens to be the Adreno 504A instead of the Adreno 304. Also new in the ISP, which becomes dual and supports cameras up to 16 megapixels. How does all this translate? Compared to the Snapdragon Wear 3100, 85% faster processor and memory speeds, a 2.5 times faster GPU and a camera with twice the resolution, according to the manufacturer.

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Performance improvement Performance improvements, according to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm also claims to have improved energy efficiency, offering dynamic clock speeds, voltage scaling, low-power geolocation support and an “improved Bluetooth 5.0 architecture”. All of this, says American society, result in a 25% reduction in energy consumption compared to the previous generation.

In terms of connectivity, the Snapragon Wear 4100+ integrates up to Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi in the 2.4 GHz band, NFC, GPS (GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo) and the X5 LTE modem. This will allow manufacturers to opt provides global Cat 4/3/1 LTE connection in two or one antenna configurations.

Improved energy consumption Improved energy consumption.

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And speaking of manufacturers, Qualcomm took the opportunity to announce that imoo and Mobvoi (the company in charge of TicWatch) will be the first to bet on the Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform in a series of products that will see the light in the end. imoo will launch the Z6 Ultra within 30 days, while Mobvoi will deploy the latest version of Qualcomm in the new Tic Watch Pro.

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