Qualcomm introduced the powerful and fast VR chip Snapdragon XR2
Hardware

Qualcomm introduced the powerful and fast VR chip Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 and the most economical AR1 Gen 1 for smart glasses

As part of yesterday’s Connect conference, Meta introduced several new software and hardware products. The latter included the Quest 3 virtual reality headset and the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses Smart glasses. Both devices are powered by Qualcomm processors. The headset received Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, data glasses received the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 chip. Details about these processors have become known.

    Image source: Qualcomm

Image source: Qualcomm

Even before yesterday’s presentation of the Quest 3 VR headset, it was known that it would receive a Snapdragon chip with twice the graphics core power to effectively cope with new LCD screens with higher resolutions.

“The use of a dedicated hardware Visual Analysis Engine (EVA) as part of Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 has reduced power consumption and latency by more than 50% compared to the software solutions used in XR2 Gen 1.”says Qualcomm.

Qualcomm Vice President Hugo Swart noted that for the first time, 6DoF detection and tracking capabilities are integrated directly into the processor for VR headsets. This allows Quest 3 to offload one of the most intensive tasks – orienting the headset and therefore the user in the room – onto a dedicated processor, while reducing power consumption and latency by more than half.

Qualcomm says headsets powered by Snapdragon However, the company explains that this capability also depends on the resolution and speed of the rest of the device’s sensor subsystem. And yet such low latency makes it possible to, for example, play table tennis and see everything through the screens of a VR headset.

Overall, the Snapdragon “But not necessarily everything at once. Our customers can decide for themselves what is more important to them.”Swart commented.

Apparently, Qualcomm paid particular attention to performance and not energy efficiency when developing the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2. CTO Meta Andrew Bosworth said back in July that the Quest 3 VR headset’s battery life would be “approximately the same” as the Quest 2. As part of yesterday’s announcement of the device, Meta itself announced confirmed this. With a fully charged battery, Quest 3 lasts up to 2.4 hours in VR games. The company offers an optional external battery for the new headset, which extends the battery life by several hours. The same option is offered for the Quest 2.

Regarding the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 processor used in the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses Smart glasses mainly include supporting the operation of a 12-megapixel camera for taking photos and videos, as well as the operation of some software functions. According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 can theoretically support two digital displays with a resolution of 1280 × 1280 pixels for each eye, take photos at 12 megapixels and videos at 6 megapixels, provide virtual navigation systems and translate from one language to another in real time, as well as the Work of voice assistants. And all this with a power consumption of less than 1 W.

The Ray-Ban Meta data glasses themselves Smart glasses offer support for voice commands, are equipped with a 12-megapixel camera, can record 1080p videos at 30 frames per second, and are also equipped with spatial audio technology. The glasses do not have digital screens. Meta According to the statement, the battery of the data glasses lasts around six hours with mixed use and up to four hours with live streaming.

Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 and Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 are manufactured using 4nm process technology. In comparison, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 uses 7nm manufacturing technology. The new chips support Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3. Unlike the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 with a power consumption of less than 1W, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor is designed for use in devices with a power consumption of more than 10W.

Qualcomm has not commented on how much more expensive the Snapdragon as part of a special agreement, but this is not an exclusive collaboration. “You just enjoy early access. I think that more devices based on these processors will come onto the market in the future., comments Swart. The same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 is also used in HTC and Pico VR headsets, not just Meta Quest 2.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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