Qualcomm unveils new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chipset

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. The company has recently introduced its latest technology called the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform, which is a unified chip design enabling spatial computing at 4.3K resolution per eye and a smooth 90 frames per second.

Qualcomm stated that the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 platform supports 12 or more concurrent cameras with on-device AI, which will mean that devices powered by the chipset will be able to offer features such as full-color video passthrough functionality, depth sensing, and eye, hand, head, face and controller tracking, all rolled into one product.

“Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 unlocks 4.3K resolution which will take XR productivity and entertainment to the next level by bringing spectacularly clear visuals to use cases such as room-scale screens, life-size overlays, and virtual desktops,” said Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are advancing our commitment to power the best XR devices and experiences that will supercharge our immersive future.”

Also, Samsung Electronics and Google representatives commented on the announcement. Unveiled at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event in February last year that Qualcomm, Samsung, and Google would be teaming up to build a mixed-reality platform, with Samsung said to be working on the hardware, Google handling the software, and Qualcomm of course providing the chipset.

“Samsung is thrilled to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies and Google in revolutionizing the mobile industry once more.” Inkang Song, vice president and head of the technology strategy team at Samsung Electronics, expressed his excitement, “With Samsung’s mobile expertise and our joint commitment, we aim to create the best-in-class XR experience for Galaxy users.”

Shahram Izadi, Google’s vice president of AR, expressed enthusiasm for the ongoing partnership with Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung in the field of immersive and spatial XR. He eagerly anticipates the Android ecosystem benefiting from the enhanced features of Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 and the potential it holds for enabling fresh experiences.

New MR & VR reference design

Qualcomm not only introduced the XR2+ Gen 2 but also revealed a fresh MR & VR reference design to assist OEMs in speeding up their product launch. Goertek developed this new design and incorporated Tobii’s eye-tracking technology. Furthermore, it supports both 3K per eye (Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2) and 4K per eye (Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2) setups.

During a press call discussing the XR2+ Gen 2, Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management, Bakadir explained that it is fully equipped to handle advanced XR features like super-resolution, foveated rendering, and space warp.

As XR devices become more intricate and capable of producing advanced graphics, it becomes increasingly important to use power efficiently, especially for devices with high-resolution displays that have more pixels. On-device features like foveated rendering are crucial in conserving power and reducing the computational burden. When combined with other features like eye tracking, foveated rendering becomes even more efficient by rendering high-resolution graphics only for the pixels that the user is directly looking at, while reducing the level of detail in peripheral areas. The XR2+ Gen 2 platform appears to be better suited for handling these types of features compared to its previous versions.

Bakadir also mentioned that five original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are presently working on solutions that make use of the XR2+ Gen 2. Some of the companies that are already creating their upcoming hardware using this platform are Samsung, HTC Vive, Immersed, and Play for Dream (previously known as YVR). Another OEM is expected to introduce their new product at CES on January 8.

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