A relatively unheard of India-based start-up by the name of Ineda Systems has officially announced its own “wearable processor unit”, which could open the door to dramatically better battery life for wearable devices.
The wearable market has yet to truly explode the way that some analysts have predicted, but that’s not stopping various industry giants and even smaller startups from giving it the old college try. We’ve seen all sorts of different wearable projects from modest devices like the Pebble Smartwatch, to Samsung’s Gear watches and the upcoming Android Wear platform. There’s also headgear such as Google Glass and the list goes on.
So are we standing at a major turning point, where the floodgates are about to burst open, taking wearables to the mainstream? That’s a good question but honestly the jury is still out, as there are still several hurdles standing in the way. Probably one of the biggest hurdles is battery life, particularly when it comes to smartwatches.
Are we standing at a major turning point, where the floodgates are about to burst open, taking wearables to the mainstream?
Many early smartwatches needed nearly daily charging, and while this has improved with newer devices like the Gear 2 and power efficient products like the Pebble, the 3-7 day battery life of modern smartwatches don’t hold a candle compared to the multi-year life of a standard watch. While it’s impossible to deliver year-long battery power to a smartwatch, Ineda Systems is coming as close as humanly possible.
The newly announced Dhanush chip line is said to be able to potentially bring 30-day+ battery life to wearable devices, and will come in four different tiers, ranging from the very basic ‘nano’ to the ‘advanced’ variant. The plan is for these chips to make their way into all sorts of different products including IoT-related devices, fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Dhanush chips can be combined with low-power MIPS processor cores and Power VR graphics in order to provide a more ‘complete’ wearable solution
The Dhanush chips offer performance anywhere from a measly 10MHz all the way to 500Mhz and will run in an-always on state, allowing them to take around-the-clock readings from sensors, push and pull info from the web at all hours, and so-much more. Dhanush also uses a patent-pending Hierachical computing architecture that is different from architectures like x86 and has its own security built right in.
If you are afraid that the low processor speeds will prevent the Dhanush from providing a quality wearable experience, you’ll be happy to know the chips are designed to be combined with low-power MIPS processor cores and Power VR graphics in order to provide a more ‘complete’ wearable solution for higher-end devices, while still providing excellent battery life.
Dhanush sounds cool, but will the chips make their way into major devices?
Although Dhanush certainly sounds cool and could open the door to month-long battery life, we have to wonder if the company has what it takes to attract big players to the market and become a major player in the wearable space.
For what’s it worth, Ineda Systems does seem to have already attracted the attention and investment dollar of some pretty big players, with some of the company’s investors including Samsung, Qualcomm, Imagination Technologies and many others. In total, Ineda has already raised 25 million to date, has over 180 employees and has several well-known board members including Young Soh, president and chief strategy officer at Samsung Electronics, Krishna Yarlagadda of Imagination Technologies, and several others.
Ineda also says they have already begun conducting customer trials for the chips, and could announce product deals as early as 3 to 6 months from now. If Ineda Systems can eventually get its Dhanush chips to play nicely in wearable products from big-name companies like Samsung, could 30-day battery life be the big push needed in order to take wearables to the next level? Would you consider a smartwatch or other wearable form factor if it boasted near-month-long life without the need for charging in between?