Wearables need optimized SoCs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Smartwatches are poised for a surge as the giant but maturing smartphone market cools, said analyst Linley Gwennap in a keynote at the Linley Mobile & Wearables Conference here. Rivals Ceva and Tensilica used the event to announce their latest DSP cores.

Gwennap predicted smartwatches will dominate a market of 380 million wearables in 2020 currently growing at a 38% compound rate. Last year fitness bands led the market with sales of about 49 million units compared to about 24 million for smartwatches, he said. The forecasted shift assumes Apple will ship next year a well-received upgrade of its watch, followed by similar models from the Android camp in 2018.

“There’s still innovation in smartphones, but we renamed the mobile event to ‘mobile and wearables’ because wearables are where there is most interest and innovation these days,” Gwennap said in an interview before the event.

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