Qualcomm Introduces Dedicated AR & VR Chipset

Snapdragon XR1 will feature some of Qualcomm's latest audio and visual genius.

Ramy Caspi
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Qualcomm has introduced "the world’s first dedicated ‘extended reality’ (XR) chipset."

This is the first chipset designed by Qualcomm specifically for VR and AR devices, rather than using existing mobile phone chipsets. Qualcomm wants to create a platform that allows manufacturers the ability to create a broader range of affordable devices.

The Snapdragon XR1 has been specially optimized for augmented reality experiences, with artificial intelligence capabilities, which promises to provide better interactivity, power consumption, and thermal efficiency. An ARM-based multicore CPU has been included in the chipset along with; a vector processor, GPU, Qualcomm AI Engine, an advanced XR software service layer capable of machine learning, and Qualcomm Technologies connectivity and security technologies.

According to Qualcomm Meta; Vive, Vuzix and Picoare have already started to developing various products using the new chipsets.

While Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 platform is still likely to be preferred for VR and AR gaming, the XR1 is said by the company to be more optimized for lean-back experiences and viewing of 360° video. “As technology evolves and consumer demand grows, we envision XR devices playing a wider variety of roles in consumers’ and workers’ daily lives,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Business Unit, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “By integrating powerful visuals, high-fidelity audio, and rich interactive experiences, XR1 will help create a new era of high-quality, mainstream XR devices for consumers.”

Qualcomm has also stated that the chipset will support 4K UHD video resolution at up to 60 frames per second. This will enable consumers to be immersed in their favorite movies, programs and sports via a high-quality VR head-mounted display. On the audio side, the platform has Qualcomm Technologies 3D Audio Suite, Qualcomm Aqstic Audio Technologies, and Qualcomm aptX Audio built in for high-fidelity audio experiences and “always-on, always-listening” voice assistance as well as Bluetooth playback. Plus XR1’s head-related transfer functions (HRTF) enable synthesized binaural sound for the best immersion.