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Qualcomm releases new dedicated platform for building wearables

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Qualcomm has launched its first dedicated platform and chipset for wearable technology, as it aims to make devices thinner and with a longer battery life.

The platform and the Snapdragon Wear 2100 system on chip (SoC) will replace Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 processor, which was made for smartphones but was also used in wearable devices.

The Wear 2100 is 30 percent smaller than the Snapdragon 400, meaning manufacturers can make thinner devices. It uses a quarter less power than the 400 across both tethered use through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or connected to a cellular network.

The SoC has integrated and "ultra low-power" sensors, which Qualcomm said would enable richer and more accurate algorithims.

According to figures from the US-based vendor, its tech is used in 65 wearables across 30 countries. A further 50 devices featuring its chipsets are expected to be launched by the end of 2016.

Raj Talluri, Senior Vice-President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, said: “With the introduction of the Snapdragon Wear platform and Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC, Qualcomm Technologies is well-positioned to extend its progress in wearables technology by enabling sleek designs, long battery life, smart sensing, and always- connected experiences in the next generation of wearable devices.

"These benefits are expected to have widespread appeal across the mobile, fashion and sports ecosystems in the wearables space.”

Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility, added: “Wearables have captured the public’s imagination, but a lack of connectivity can lead to frustration. With Snapdragon Wear’s new platform, it’s clear that AT&T and Qualcomm Technologies share a vision for independently connected wearables that create a seamless experience for those who wear them."

[Read more - Qualcomm bets house on fresh mass-market tech as it sheds 15% of staff]

Meanwhile, the chipset maker has also revealed the first commercially announced gigabit class LTE chipset, delivering Category 16 speeds of up to 1GBps.

The Snapdragon X16 LTE modem supports 4x20MHz downlink carrier aggregation across FDD and TDD spectrum, and 2x20MBps uplink carrier aggregation for speeds of 150MBps.