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​NXP bets new chip can lead to monthly charging for wearables

NXP has a new Bluetooth Low Energy processor that aims to minimize the time folks spend charging their wearables.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

One of the biggest knocks on wearables is that they have to be charged frequently. And although fitness wearable players have improved to a once-a-week charge at best, the trusty watch battery is a better option.

Now NXP is hoping to level that battery life a bit with a Bluetooth Low Energy system-on-a-chip that is 40 percent more efficient than what's on the market today. The upshot: In theory, your wearable would need a charge once a month or so at best.

The processor can provide twice the battery life, remain in an always on state and run multiple applications.

Also see: CNET's CES coverage

For the wearable market, NXP's QN 9080 chip is worth noting. As a frequent consumer of wearables, I can tell you that once you have a fitness tracker with a watch battery it's nearly impossible to go back with one that needs a charge every few days or once a week. The tug-of-war in wearable processors will be one that revolves around features and functionality and battery life. Samsung launched its Bio-Processor last week, which aims to bring more health tracking features to wearables.

NXP said that it has been working with wearable and fitness device manufactures to develop the QN 9080 and sharing efforts to make devices more energy efficient.

The QN 9080 runs on the ARM Cortex architecture and a 2.4 GHz radio Bluetooth. Customers are testing samples.

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