Qualcomm takes on Apple with spatial computing chip
Mobile chip giant Qualcomm has revealed a new Snapdragon chip designed especially for mixed-reality devices that will compete with Apple's Vision Pro.
The Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 platform will power "crisp, immersive mixed reality and virtual reality experiences at 4.3K per eye resolution using a dozen or more cameras." Samsung and Google confirmed at the launch that they collaborated with Qualcomm on the new platform and will use it as the basis to build experiences for Android and Galaxy users.
In fact, Said Bakadir, senior director of product management at Qualcomm, said in a press briefing that four firms are now working on new devices based on Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2: Samsung, HTC Vive, Immersed and Play for Dream (formerly YVR).
When their devices land they will compete with Apple's Vision Pro headset, which is expected to launch later this year. This should blow up the market for so-called spatial computing based on mixed reality headsets.
Qualcomm says its single-chip architecture will deliver more realistic, detailed mixed and virtual reality experiences for users. Specifically, it says the platform supports 4.3K by 4.3K per eye resolution, 15% higher GPU and 20% higher CPU max frequency. The Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 enables 12 or more concurrent cameras and on-device AI to track smooth movement with pixel-level precision.
Cheekily, Qualcomm also highlighted that the platform would not require a external battery pack – a possible dig at Apple, whose Vision Pro features one.
“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, at Qualcomm. “We are advancing our commitment to power the best XR devices and experiences that will supercharge our immersive future.”