Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ and W5 wearables platforms promise higher efficiency and performance

It’s been a while since Qualcomm released a new platform for wearables. More exactly, the Snapdragon 4100 platform was announced a little over two years ago, and now Qualcomm has just introduced the Snapdragon W5+ and W5 Gen 1 platforms with up to 50% longer battery, twice the performance, and 30 percent smaller size.

Just like the Snapdragon 4100, the Snapdragon W5 comes with four Arm Cortex-A53 processor (SW5100), but is clocked at 1.7 GHz and manufactured with a 4nm process, while the always-on (AON) co-processor is upgraded from a Cortex-M0 chip to the QCC5100 Cortex-M55 chip manufactured with a 22nm process.


Snapdragon W5 & W5+ highlights


Snapdragon W5+/W5 specifications:

  • W5100 SoC
    • CPU – Quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.7 GHz
    • GPU – Qualcomm Adreno A702 @ up to 1 GHz with OpenGL ES 3.1 API support
    • DSP – Qualcomm Hexagon DSP V66K
    • System Memory – 16-bit LPDDR4 up to 2,133 MHz
    • Storage – eMMC 4.5 flash
    • Process – 4nm
  • AON QCC5100 Co-processor
  • Display – MIPI DSI interface (SoC), QSPI with DDR interface (AON co-processor)
  • Camera
    • Dual-camera up to 16MP
    • 2x 4-lane MIPI DSI
    • Features: EIS 3.0, Multi-frame Noise Reduction (MFNR), Pseudo ZSL
  • Wireless connectivity
    • Qualcomm RF Front-End (RFFE) solution
    • Cellular Technology: LTE FDD, LTE TDD, 1x Adv, EV-DO Rev. A, TD-SCDMA, GSM/EDGE
    • Dual-band 802.11n 1×1 WiFi 4
    • Bluetooth 5.3
    • Location – BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS with dual frequency support
    • NFC support via third-party
  • USB – USB 2.0 interface
  • Security Features – Qualcomm Processor Security, Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) 4.0.5


Snapdragon W5+ Block Diagram

Supported operating systems are Wear OS by Google, Android, and FreeRTOS with the latter running on the Cortex-M55 co-processor. If the Snapdragon W5+ block diagram above is correct, the Qualcomm SW5100 SoC would drive a MIPI DSI OLED display, while the QCC5100 can control another display over QSPI for notifications with its own display and GPU blocks. Some other functions are also duplicated on the SoC and co-processor with audio, Bluetooth 5.3, and WiFi 4 supported on both. The Arm Ethos-U55 AI accelerator is attached to the Cortex-M55 co-processor, while the camera, cellular connectivity, and GNSS are only handled by the SW5100 SoC.

The Snapdragon W5 platform also includes the Qualcomm PWW5100 power management IC, as well as Modem/GNSS RF RFFE (WTR3925+QPA5581+QFM5515). At no point does Qualcomm mention the differences between W5 and W5+, so I’m guessing maybe W5+ includes cellular connectivity, while the W5 does not… TBC.

The first smartwatches based on the Snapdragon W5/W5+ platform will be launched in August with the Oppo Watch 3 series, followed by a new generation of Mobvoi TicWatch this fall, and a total of 25 designs currently in the pipeline. Qualcomm also says two reference designs from Compal and Pegatron. Additional information may be found on the product page.

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4 Replies to “Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ and W5 wearables platforms promise higher efficiency and performance”

      1. Either way, it’s making harder to quantify performance of a given CPU with just core name.

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