Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) industries are evolving but at their own slow pace. However, companies like HTC and Oculus are going good with their next-gen products like HTC Vive and Oculus Go. Qualcomm also plays an essential role in this industry by supplying chipsets to both phones and dedicated headsets. The company introduced its mixed reality chipset Snapdragon X1 back in May 2018. Now, Qualcomm has announced its first 5G XR chipset Snapdragon XR2.
Mixed Reality (MR) is the merger of VR and AR that makes the physical world interact with the digital in such a smooth way that everything seems real with the help of some device. X Reality (XR) is for extended reality, which combines AR, VR, and MR.
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon XR2 offers twice the CPU and GPU performance of Snapdragon 835 based XR1, 6x better video resolution, 4x better video bandwidth and 11 times faster AI processing. The chip consists of 4 Kryo cores — a Prime, a Gold and 2 Silver cores. The company also states that the XR2 GPU supports 1.5x the pixel processing rate and 3x the texel processing rate along with foveated rendering via eye-tracking and improved variable-rate shading for smoother refresh rates offering life-like visuals.
The XR2 supports up to 7 concurrent cameras for better scene and positional tracking with the help of dedicated computer vision processor. With support for more cameras, the platform enables tracking head, lips, and eyes accurately in real-time along with 26-point skeletal hand tracking. XR2 also features a low latency camera pass-through, which lets users enjoy the overlaying virtual world objects on to the video feed of the real world.
Moreover, XR2 supports displays up to 3K by 3K resolution on each eye at 90fps. It is also capable of streaming and playback up to 8K 360 degree videos at 60fps, 4K videos at 120fps with HDR10/HDR10+ support. And for the audio department, it has 3D spatial sound and a custom low-power Hexagon DSP for better voice activation and context detection.
Qualcomm also provided the option for 5G connectivity for XR2 powered headsets for streaming 360-degree videos at high resolutions, which generally requires fast download speeds along with low latencies for positional tracking.