Qualcomm bringing new chips for Wear OS smartwatches. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Back in March, Google rebranded Android Wear to Wear OS by Google and said that the operating system would get new features through software updates. In the hardware side of things, Qualcomm has finally confirmed that it’s working on a new Snapdragon chip that would power up new Wear OS smartwatches.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 system-on-chip (SoC) has been on smartwatches since 2016 and has quickly fallen behind the competition. Qualcomm’s senior director of wearables Pankaj Kedia has revealed that this is about to change when the company releases a new processor later this year, as first reported by Wearable.com.

Kedia confirmed that the new Snapdragon chip will be announced this fall alongside a “lead smartwatch.” When the holiday season arrives, Kedia says that more of Qualcomm’s hardware partners will use the company’s new chips for their brand new Wear OS smartwatches. Most of the technical specifications of the upcoming new chip wasn’t given, but Kedia did give out some information on what it will be capable of.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chip for Wear OS devices is said to be a different type of upgrade. “In the 2100 we made tweaks in packaging, in sensors, in a lot of software,” Kedia said. “But when we go to generation three, it's designed from the ground up for a no-compromises smartwatch experience with dedicated chips that make your watch look pretty when you're not looking at it, that brings the best fitness and watch experience, and extends battery life.”

Kedia didn’t give out a specific figure when it comes to battery life, only stating that it will be a “significant” upgrade over the current standard. Qualcomm’s new platform will also allow Wear OS smartwatch makers to create devices with smaller designs. This also suggests that Qualcomm’s new platform will feature a smaller process size than the 2100’s 28nm, as pointed out by 9To5Google.

Kedia also revealed that the next platform will be the first to have purpose-built chips. This just means that consumers should expect multiple variations. All of the chips will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as standard, while chips dedicated to fitness and sports will have GPS. Consumers should also expect many brand new Wear OS smartwatches to have support for LTE networks.

“This platform will significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem, what you expect from a smartwatch,” Kedia said. “It is working, we are shipping samples to our customers. I have seen it moving, it's very exciting.”