Recent teardowns of two popular smartwatches – the Apple Watch Sport and LG Urbane – have confirmed that each device packs 512MB of memory.
“Initially, PCs shipped with 16KB of DRAM and the average DRAM memory content of PCs just reached 512MB about 10 years ago around 2005. It is amazing that today you find that kind of memory capacity on your wrist,” said Rambus VP of IP Strategy Stefan Tamme.
LG Watch Urbane Teardown: Image Credit iFixit
“At the same time, the system and memory interface clock speeds increased from a few MHz in the early PC days to well over 1GHz today for the state of the art LPDDR3 memories that are used in these smart watches.”
According to Tamme, the relentless pursuit of Moore’s Law by the semiconductor industry has enabled the miniaturization of powerful compute components that would have once filled entire buildings and cost tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
Apple Watch Sport: Image Credit Apple.com
Nevertheless, as a recent Wareables article noted, wearables are still some of the hardest gadgets to build.
“[They] are exposed to wear and tear to a greater extent than other consumer tech. When you put something on the body it means it has to be more robust,” Jawbone communications manager Jim Godfrey told the publication.
Jawbone UP3 Tracker: Image Credit Jawbone.com
“[In addition], advanced wearables are heavily sophisticated, with powerful processors capable of complex computing on your wrist. For a company like Jawbone it’s a priority to produce that in a small and comfortable design and form factor as possible. That’s where you get 24/7 wearability, when it disappears on the wrist.”
Despite the challenges, IDC analysts forecast that the worldwide wearables market will hit 45.7 million units (shipped) in 2015 and increase to 126.1 million units in 2019. Unsurprisingly, wrist-worn wearables, including bands, bracelets, and watches, are expected to account for more than 80% of all wearable device shipments throughout the forecast period.