Samsung tricks out Gear S3 smartwatch with a 64-bit chip

Samsung starts the era of 64-bit chips in smartwatches

If Apple was the first to bring 64-bit to the iPhone, Samsung is among the first to bring it to smartwatches.

The recently launched Samsung Gear S3 has some of the most advanced circuitry found in wearables, according to a teardown of the device by Linley Group.

Inside, engineers found a dual-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 processor running at 1.0GHz combined with high-definition graphics, memory, power management and LTE connectivity. That makes it roughly equivalent to a low-cost smartphone.

That's notable because engineers typically fit much lower performance components into phones to keep power consumption down and battery life long.

Even with these components, the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic models offer a battery life of up to 3 days.

But what does this mean for consumers?

One advantage comes in image processing, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. Paired with a good graphics processor, a 64-bit chip can get more processing done within fewer clock cycles, which means longer battery life.

The chip will also allow a more modern operating system to run, and that opens the way to new uses and applications that weren't possible in the past. The Gear S3 has Tizen OS, which can now work with ARM-based 64-bit chips.

The teardown also found the Gear S3 has a Mali-T720 graphics processor, which is an interesting choice. The chip can handle high-definition video far beyond what's required on the small 1.3-inch circular AMOLED display on Gear S3.

"Watching a movie on one’s wrist seems unlikely," said Linley Gwennap, an analyst at Linley Group, but he noted the display processing in the watch could conceivably support higher resolution displays.

Additionally, the smartwatch has separate chips for LTE Cat 4 mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. It has a satellite navigation chip that works with the U.S. GPS, Russian Glonass, and Chinese Beidou systems.

Samsung used the 14-nm process to make the chipset for the Gear S3. It achieved high levels of integration that allowed it to shrink a 64-bit processor and 720p-capable GPU into a smartwatch.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?