Snapdragon Wear 5100 may have little innovation


We can expect a new wearable chip from Qualcomm. Last month, Qualcomm uploaded a reference code to the Snapdragon Wear 5100, which is presumably a new type of chipset. Based on the Dutch publication WinFuture, we will get some information about this new wearable chip being implemented by Qualcomm.

The information in the new report is different from what was initially reported last month. If they initially announced the Snapdragon Wear 5100 processor with four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, in the next round they announced it was a quad-core Cortex-A73 chip. This core belongs to the Cortex-A50 series which is rated “world’s best energy-efficient” by ARM. 

However, the Snapdragon Wear 5100 will probably have a bit more performance and not much breakthrough compared to the Snapdragon 4100, which uses Cortex-A53 cores with outstanding performance.

The Snapdragon 5100 can be built with a more quality process than the previous generation chip. Last year, the Snapdragon 4100 was built on a 12-nanometer process. However, the possibility of a new processor with a 5nm process is also unlikely. Samsung has just introduced a completely new version of the processor on the 5nm process – Exynos W920 and it is equipped in the Galaxy Watch 4. It is a formidable competitor to Qualcomm’s new chip. The Exynos W920 may have faster performance than the Snapdragon Wear 5100, but Qualcomm’s processor has 2 Cortex-A55 cores, more than 1 CPU core.

The Exynos W920 has a Cortex-M55 with an ultra-low-power purpose like Always On Display (AOD). Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 5100 chip can also be equipped with this feature like Samsung’s processor.

Snapdragon Wear 5100 is also being tested in different memory configurations with capacities such as 1GB, 2GB RAM, 8GB, or 16GB. In addition to being able to compete well with the Exynos W920 with 1.5GB and 16GB of storage, Qualcomm is testing variants of the Snapdragon Wear 5100. To prepare in case OEMs add cameras to smartwatches for their invention, Qualcomm’s processor has been tested with two cameras of 5 megapixel and 16-megapixel resolution.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 5100 could be manufactured by rival company Samsung’s semiconductor division. However, Qualcomm can also choose another manufacturer to provide some variants like Chinese chip manufacturers.

In the hardware and software department, it has been changed by Wear OS that has been rebuilt through the hands of two giants Google and Samsung when most Snapdragon-powered smartwatches have not been updated to the new Wear OS or the updated process is very slow. That proves Qualcomm is not as fast as other companies.

To compete with Samsung’s Exynos W920, Qualcomm has to create a cool Snapdragon Wear 5100 processor and they should focus more on this task. Based on unofficial information, it is difficult for us to fully understand Qualcomm’s new wearable chip, so we should wait for official announcements from this American giant.