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2015 wasn’t exactly a good year for Qualcomm as the issues with its Snapdragon 810 SoC did cast some doubts on the chip makers ability to deliver in the flagship chipset spectrum. This year, it would seem that the American base semiconductor company isn’t only trying to redeem itself with the upcoming (Snapdragon 820) but also reinforce its position as the leading mobile chipset manufacturer.
Qualcomm announced new modern Soc that is targeted at smartwatch manufacturers, the new system expected to increase battery life, allow for thinner designs and provides fast LTE connectivity. The midrange ARMs are going to provide fast charging, 802.11ac WiF and LTE carrier aggregation (which allows multiple LTE bands to be combined and provide high data rates).
This chip is aimed at entry-level devices and has a Quad-core ARM cortex- A53 as its CPU, Adreno 308 GPU and added support for LTE with an X6 modem.
Expect to see this chip on mid-range devices as it packs a better LTE band support than the 425 with its X8 modem. This chip runs on an Octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU with Adreno 505 GPU.
Manufactured using the 14nm process for improved efficiency, this chip packs an Octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU and Adreno 506 GPU with an X9 LTE modem.
Qualcomm is also working on a new modem component for flagship devices. The X16 modem is not yet seen on any of its upcoming chips but it is said to be capable of gigabit-class LTE speeds with 4X20MHz and 4X4MINO. The company reported that mobile OEMs have already received samples and expect production with said modem to begin in the second half of this year.
Smartwatches, especially those powered by Android mostly use the snapdragon 400 series. This chip was not specifically designed for wearables but for low-end handsets. Smartwatch manufacturers improvised by leaving only a single core active and disabling the other three to make it compatible with their products.
Qualcomm is looking to change that with the introduction of the new Snapdragon wear 2100. The new design is 30% smaller than the SD 400 being currently used in smartwatches and consumes 25% less power.
This introduction will generate great expectations for the second generation Android-powered smartwatches as it will cater for less bulky designs and greatly improved power efficiency especially with the arrival of Marshmallow for wearables.