Qualcomm Unveils Chip for VR and Mixed Reality Headsets

Qualcomm has revealed a partnership with Samsung Electronics and Alphabet’s Google to leverage a newly designed computing chip, destined to power both mixed and virtual reality headsets.
Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2The chip, known as the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2, boasts the capability to efficiently manage data streams originating from a dozen cameras integrated within the headset architecture.

This announcement arrives at a crucial juncture in the competition within the mixed-reality headset market. These headsets, incorporating real-world views via integrated cameras, are poised for intensified competition this year, especially with the impending launch of Apple’s Vision Pro headset.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities anticipates that Apple, a key player in this domain, might commence sales of the Vision Pro headset priced at $3,500. The Vision Pro, employing a custom-designed chip akin to those utilized in select Apple laptops, is speculated to hit the market either later this month or in early February, Reuters news report said.

While both Google and Samsung have aligned with Qualcomm to utilize the new chip, the specifics regarding the products in which this advanced technology will be implemented remain undisclosed at this time.

Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform

Qualcomm Technologies said in a news statement said its Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform delivers outstanding 4.3K spatial computing at a remarkable 90 frames per second, enhancing visual clarity across various applications.

This latest iteration, building upon the foundation laid by the previously announced Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, takes a significant leap forward. The new ‘+’ version elevates mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences by enhancing GPU frequency by 15 percent and CPU frequency by 20 percent.

“Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 unlocks 4.3K resolution, elevating XR productivity and entertainment with stunning visual clarity, enabling applications such as room-scale screens, life-size overlays, and virtual desktops,” Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR at Qualcomm Technologies, said.

Samsung Electronics, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and Google, expressed enthusiasm for revolutionizing the mobile industry.

Inkang Song, vice president and head of the technology strategy team at Samsung Electronics, conveyed excitement about their joint commitment, aiming to deliver an unparalleled XR experience for Galaxy users.

Shahram Izadi, vice president of AR at Google, also highlighted the collaboration’s significance, stating, “We look forward to our continued partnership with Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung in shaping the future of immersive and spatial XR. The capabilities of Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 will empower the Android ecosystem to unlock new experiences.”

Additionally, in a bid to expedite OEMs’ time to market, Qualcomm Technologies revealed a new MR & VR reference design, in collaboration with Goertek, featuring Tobii’s eye-tracking technology. This reference design accommodates both 3K per eye (Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2) and 4K per eye (Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2) configurations.