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Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, first chip dedicated to AR/VR

Dedicated extended reality (XR) platform is debuted by Qualcomm

By: Rob Squires from May 29, 2018 @ 23:02 CDT

Tonight at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Qualcomm has debuted their brand new Snapdragon XR1 Platform. This is the world's first dedicated extended reality (XR) platform.

Qualcomm's latest offering gives mainstream users high-quality extended reality experiences while enabling OEMs to develop mainstream devices. Special optimizations for Augmented Reality (AR) experiences as well as integrating artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities will provide devices with better interactivity, power consumption and thermal efficiency.

The focuses of the new platform are to provide improvements in audio and visual technologies, as well as user interaction. Ultra high-definition 4K video resolution at a rate of up to 60 frames per second for high-quality VR HMDs will enable consumers to be immersed in their favorite movies, programs and sports.

New dedicated hardware and software algorithms within its Qualcomm Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP) can help significantly reduce unwanted noise from snapshots producing a substantially improved final picture in high-quality AR headsets.

The integrated display processor provides a range of display options with hardware accelerated composition, dual-display support, 3D overlays and support for leading graphics Application Programming Interfaces (API), including OpenGL, OpenCL and Vulkan. The platform also features advanced vision processing capabilities fundamental for technologies like Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO), which lets users move around in the virtual world or interact with augmented objects in an AR experience.

Part of Qualcomm's VR initiative is their three- and six-degrees of freedom (3DoF, 6DoF) head tracking and controller capabilities. Devices based on the XR1 platform will open a whole new playground for mainstream users, letting them not only move freely in the virtual world like never before but also interact and play within it. An integrated sensor hub and optimized sensor fusion abilities allows users to experience rich interactions with motion to photon latencies well below the scientifically required 20ms.

Qualcomm Technologies 3D Audio Suite, Qualcomm Aqstic Audio Technologies, and Qualcomm aptX Audio are included to allow for high-fidelity audio experiences. Also included on the audio side is "always-on, always-listening" voice assistance as well as Bluetooth playback. The platforms head-related transfer functions (HRTF) enable users' ears to synthesize binaural sound that feels like it comes from a specific point in space.

Qualcomm has partnered with OEMs; Meta, VIVE, Vuzix and Picoare. These OEMs have already begun developing their first offerings based on the new XR1 platform.

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