Google hasn’t yet had a massive hit with any of its Wear OS-powered smartwatches, an issue some observers have blamed on performance gaps between Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear processors and rival chips developed by Apple and Samsung. But if a new report from Germany’s WinFuture is accurate, that could be set to change in the near future, as Qualcomm is said to be testing two advanced new wearable platforms that may wind up being the same chip, or variations on one chip.
According to the report, the platforms are currently using “WTP2700” and “WTP429W” codenames but may ultimately be marketed as “Snapdragon Wear 2700,” “Snapdragon Wear 429,” or something entirely different. While the “2700” name sounds like a mid-range chip between Qualcomm’s earlier Wear 2100 and Wear 3100, the 429 name signals that the new CPU will be a watch-ready version of the smartphone-focused Snapdragon 429, a step forward for the Wear chip series.
Each of the new platforms is said to have 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 8GB of EMCC flash memory. WinFuture also suggests that the new chips will be smaller, built on a 12-nanometer process rather than Qualcomm’s 28-nanometer predecessors, and will include 64-bit support by including four ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at or around 2.0GHz. Bluetooth 5.0 and LTE support are also expected to be included, along with a feature called “Track3,” which is speculated to be a helper chip for low-power activity tracking.
Like the name, the release date for the new chip or chips remains ambiguous: WinFuture suggests that it could come in months, or wait until next year. Given the progress that Wear OS rivals have recently been making, here’s hoping it arrives sooner rather than later; uptake of the iterative Snapdragon Wear 3100 has been slower than expected, while sales of rival Apple Watches, Galaxy Watch smartwatches, and lower-end wearables from Xiaomi and Huawei have been surging. Qualcomm announced the 2100 in February 2016 and the 3100 last September, so there’s no specific cadence for its flagship wearable processors — one or two new chips could come at any time.