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Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon Wear 1100 processor for wearables

Unlike the earlier Wear 2100 chip meant for multi-purpose devices, the new chip is designed for low-power performance and use in wearables with a more focused feature set.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

While it makes plenty of processors for mobile phones, Qualcomm isn't putting all its chips in one basket -- the company's latest Snapdragon Wear 1100, revealed here at Computex in Taipei, is meant for wearables, but unlike the earlier Wear 2100 announced earlier this year in February, the Wear 1100 has a more focused outlook.

Instead of smartwatches or a wristband that does it all, the Wear 1100 will be likely be used in simpler devices such as fitness trackers.

Wearables have traditonally been considered a niche market. But as sales continue to grow -- IDC reports that wearable shipments surged 171 percent last year, from 28.8 million to 78.1 million, it's growth that Qualcomm can't afford to ignore.

Besides a built-in LTE modem, other features of the new Snapdragon Wear 1100 include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as an app processor for Linux-based apps. Qualcomm says it expects its chip will be used in connected wearables such as those that offer child tracking.

Qualcomm says the chip is available and shipping, so expect its partners to start introducing new devices using the chipset pretty soon.

Check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2016 coverage here.