Snapdragon Wear 5100 could power the next wave of Android smartwatches
Chipmaker Qualcomm said last month that it plans to launch new Snapdragon Wear chipsets and according to code digging by XDA Developers, its next chip for smartwatches will be called the Snapdragon Wear 5100.
The publication came across the build ID “LAW.UM.2.0-00700-SW5100.0” on Qualcomm’s Code Aurora Forum. “LAW” is short for “Linux Android Wear.” Android Wear is what Wear OS was formerly known as. “UM” supposedly stands for “Unified Modem,” and “SW5100” could be short for Snapdragon Wear 5100. The chip is codenamed “monaco.”
There is not a lot of information to go around at the moment. Code snippets indicate the new platform is based on Android 10 and Android 11, which makes you wonder whether Google and Samsung’s forthcoming unified Wear OS 3 platform will be supported.
Although Qualcomm has said that Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+ and 4100 platforms are capable of running Wear OS 3.0, the future looks bleak for most current watches.
Snapdragon Wear 5100 specs
The Snapdragon Wear 5100 is seemingly based on the chip giant’s “bengal” platform and has a quad-core processor with ARM Cortex-A73 cores. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53
Qualcomm’s clients are turning into adversaries. Samsung’s renewed focus on its Exynos chips and its partnership with AMD suggests it may eventually stop using Snapdragon chips. What’s more, Google and Samsung are getting closer.
Not only are the two companies working on the new smartwatch OS, but the South Korean titan is also believed to be helping Google with its first custom-built smartphone SoC. Apple is also said to be working on its own modem to reduce reliance on Qualcomm
Qualcomm’s smartwatch chips have failed to make a name for themselves and it will be interesting to see if the upcoming best smartwatches opt for the new chip.
The company had previously said that new chips would be released “over the next year.” A watch codenamed “Atherton” could be the first to be powered by the new chipset. That sounds like a good start, given that not many watchmakers have expressed interest in using Qualcomm’s latest chips.