Published in Mobiles

Qualcomm officially announces new 4nm W5 and W5+ Gen 1 SoCs

by on19 July 2022

Purpose-built for next generation wearables

Qualcomm has announced its successors to the Snapdragon Wear 4100 series SoCs, the 4nm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and the W5+ Gen 1, promising impressive improvements for next generation wearables.

According to Qualcomm, the two new 4nm Snapdragon W5 and W5+ Gen 1 SoCs will offer 2X performance while providing a 50 percent longer battery life.

New Snapdragon W5 and W5+ Gen 1 SoCs are also 30 percent smaller and thinner, which should result in sleeker designs. The Wear 4100+ was taking up the area of 100mm2 for SoC and 28mm2 for PMIC, while the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1, puts both SoC and PMIC on a 90mm2 area. The height of the chip is also reduced from 0.69mm down to 0.48mm, so hopefully, we'll see thinner designs with heftier larger batteries. 

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Qualcomm also says the new chipsets make it easier to scale across segments, so we guess we'll see various designs across different market segments, which is where the difference between the Snapdragon W5 and the W5+ comes in.

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The main and rather important difference between the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 SoCs, is the AON (Always On) Co-Processor, or the lack of it on the non-Plus chipset. Built on a 22nm manufacturing process, the AON Co-Processor can take care of more tasks in the background while using less power, including speech processing, audio playback, and notifications. The AON Co-Processor also brings low-power Bluetooth 5.3, WiFi, GNSS, as well as low-power states like "deep sleep" and "hibernate".

Specification-wise, the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 still packs four Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 1.7GHz, but this time around, it pairs it up with a new Cortex-M55 efficiency core (the 22nm AON Co-Processor) working at 250MHz (compared to the Wear 4100+ Cortex-M0 working at 50MHz). The GPU has been updated to A702 ticking at 1.0GHz and 2.5D GPU inside the AON Co-Processor, which is a significant upgrade compared to 320MHz A540 on the Wear 4100+ platform.

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The Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 now supports one 16 LPDDR4 2133MHz memory and comes with a U55 machine learning unit. The LTE modem has also been updated with Rel 13 w/Cat 1bis with low-power mode.

Qualcomm has teamed up with Compal and Pegatron for reference designs that will help its partners to develop their own products, and the first OEMs on the 25 design wins list to launch wearables with the Snapdragon W5 series are Mobvoi and Oppo. Oppo has been rumored to launch its own Oppo Watch 3 sometime in August.


Last modified on 20 July 2022
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