The announcement was made by the company at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. The new Snapdragon Wear 1100 chips will be part of devices meant for certain audiences, such as kids' watches or watches for the elderly, fitness trackers, smart headsets, and wearable accessories.
"Snapdragon Wear 1100 is targeting purpose-built wearables, or those that are designed only around a few usage cases," said Pankaj Kedia, senior director and business lead of smart wearables at Qualcomm, in an interview with VentureBeat. "These kinds of products do two to five things really well. They run a more targeted software environment, like Linux. The whole user experience is much more targeted around these use cases. They still require low power, high integration, small size, and a good connected experience."
The success of these chips will allow the California-based chip maker to go beyond pure mobile chips. Qualcomm is focused on the larger market of chips for the Internet of Things (or making everyday objects smart and connected). That includes "smart bodies," "smart homes," and "smart cities," Kedia said.
"IoT is a large space for us," Kedia explained. "When we think of smart bodies, wearables is part of that space. There's a lot of excitement in this part of the industry."
Qualcomm launched its wearable chips division two years ago and around a month ago, the company announced that there are now 100 wearable products based on Qualcomm's technology. "It's exciting to see the enthusiasm in the ecosystem and an indication of how well we are doing," Kedia said.