With its 4nm SoC and significant co-processor role, the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 is a major improvement for Wear OS.

The Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 from Qualcomm is the company’s upcoming CPU for smartwatches, and it represents a significant improvement over earlier models.
The chipmaker begins by abandoning its old naming method for W5 , followed by the Gen, which is consistent with the practice for smartphones.

Notably, the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1’s 4nm SoC represents a significant improvement over the 4100 ‘s 12nm SoC. (and 28nm before that). The foundry is unnamed by Qualcomm, however there are four A53 cores running at 1.7GHz, two Adreno 702 GPUs running at 1GHz, and memory that is roughly three times quicker (LPDDR 750MHz to 2133MHz). Overall performance is claimed to be two times greater.

Real-time picture recognition, smooth 1080p video playback, fast app scrolling, and even two-way video calling (dual ISP providing 16 16MP compatibility) are all made possible by the SW5100 SoC. Additionally, it can support 3D watch faces and navigational maps.

The hybrid architecture of the W5 Gen 1 with an always-on, 22nm (as opposed to 28nm on the 4100 ) co-processor running a real-time OS is another important feature. A Cortex M55 core, a built-in 2.5D GPU, a U55 machine learning core, and direct Bluetooth 5.3 support are all included in the QCC5100.

This component is now in charge of audio (music playback) and distributing low-power notifications in addition to managing sensors (such as heart rate, accelerometer, and gyroscope) and the always-on display.

As a result, in typical use circumstances, the W5 consumes 30–60% less power than the 4100 . This includes the background notifications (-57%), Bluetooth music (-36%), GPS position (-42%), always-on display (42% less), display scrolling (41%) and VoLTE calling (-34%). In addition to having a 50% longer battery life, the W5 has a 30% smaller physical chip, enabling thinner designs and even a single worldwide LTE modem SKU.

The Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 without the co-processor is also being made available by Qualcomm to companies that provide wearables for the Chinese market, seniors, children, the health industry, and businesses. Over 25 designs are now in development for the two chips, and W5 Gen 1 is already in mass production.

In order to expedite development, the chipmaker collaborated with Compal and Pegatron on reference designs. Google is enthusiastic:

We have a long history of assisting our partners in providing outstanding user experiences thanks to Google and Qualcomm Technologies. Bjorn Kilburn, GM and Senior Director of Wear OS at Google, said, “We admire the technological advancements Qualcomm Technologies is bringing to the wearables sector with the debut of its Snapdragon W5 platform.” We are enthusiastic about the potential of the Snapdragon W5 platform to give Wear OS smartwatches new levels of performance, capabilities, and battery life.

You can read more about Mobvoi’s plans to release the first Wear OS device equipped with the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 here.
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