Qualcomm’s new audio chipset promises longer battery life for wireless earbuds

Wireless earbuds mean no more tangled wires, but the downside is a significant one — you have to charge them.

Qualcomm expects to ease that pain with its QCC5100 audio system-on-a-chip (SoC) series for wireless headphones and ‘hearables’ — i.e. headphones with smart features.

The San Diego-based chipset giant detailed the new audio SoC series during its pre-CES 2018 conference in Las Vegas on Monday, January 8th.

In comparison to a single-chip Bluetooth audio solution — like its own CSR8675, which powers Google’s Pixel Buds — Qualcomm says the QCC5100 is engineered to reduce power consumption by up to 65 percent for voice calls and music streaming. It further noted that headphones based on the chip could offer 25 percent better battery life than “the most popular true wireless headset on the market today” — a not so-subtle dig at legal adversary Apple and its AirPods.

The quad-core chipset also packs impressive processing power, with a dual-core 32-bit processor application subsystem and dual-core Kalimba DSP Audio subsystem.

It features a Bluetooth 5 dual-mode radio and stocks embedded ROM and RAM, plus support for external flash memory. It also supports voice assistant services and low power wake word detection.

Qualcomm says it plans to reveal several example designs based on QCC5100 series chipsets in the first half of 2018.

Source: Qualcomm