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HTC Vive 2 could use improved, and cheaper tracking chip

Valve recommends new Lighthouse chip for HTC Vive 2, which is a cheaper, more efficient design

By Anthony Garreffa on Sep 22, 2016 at 02:17 am CDT - 2 mins, 9 secs reading time

We're beginning to hear more and more on the successor to the HTC Vive, with Valve now recommending a new chip for future SteamVR-based headsets and accessories. The new chip will deliver improved performance and huge power consumption reductions compared to the first-gen solution, and it should also be cheaper, too.

HTC Vive 2 could use improved, and cheaper tracking chip | TweakTown.com

The chip in question is the TS3633 integrated circuit from Triad Semiconductor, a US-based company that specializes in custom analog and mixed signal integrated circuits. Valve worked with Triad on the architecture of the chip itself, with Road to VR reporting that the chip "sits next to the photodiode as an interpreter of the raw signals from the Lighthouse basestations".

The original HTC Vive uses a discrete circuit sensor that has 41 individual components, while the new TS3633 has only 9 components, resulting in a simplified manufacturing process. Triad's VP of Marketing & Sales, Reid Wender, explained that the new chip is cost-optimized for high volume manufacturing. For the full system consisting of the VR headset and controllers, there are around 80 sensors, with the chip reducing component placements by 2560 over the 41 component per-sensor design of the current Vive.

What this does is reduce component placement costs, and could eventually simplify circuit board designs that will reduce the costs even more, according to Wender. He continued, explaining: "The more components in a system the more likely there will be a manufacturing yield problem or field reliability problem. The circuit boards that these devices are implemented on are relatively expensive. Removing the 2,560 placements means that the final assembly will have a higher yield and require less expensive manual rework. And, fewer components means better reliability in the field and lower warranty costs".

Triad's new TS3633 chip will eventually offer improved tracking performance with Wender adding: "The TS3633 excels on several technical characteristics such as detected pulse width versus distance, more sensitivity for longer range detection, better off angle detection, improved optical sync detection, improved start of sync detection, and improved centroid location. All of these technical improvements equate to a more robust SteamVR Tracking experience with observably improved user experience".

Road to VR's article continues, if you want a deeper read, check it out.

Last updated: Sep 1, 2017 at 05:15 am CDT

Anthony Garreffa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Anthony Garreffa

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games to be built around consoles. With FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with high-end, custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU technology is unwavering, and with next-gen NVIDIA GPUs about to launch alongside 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitors and BFGDs (65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync TVs) there has never been a time to be more excited about technology.

NEWS SOURCE:roadtovr.com

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