Virtual Reality

Snapdragon XR2, the SoC for virtual and augmented reality glasses with 5G, support for 8K video, and 3K displays per eye

At today’s conferences within the Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm has unveiled its latest platform for sunglasses. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality, named Snapdragon XR2 5G. Among its novelties we find support for 5G along with the possibility of playing 8K videos at 60 FPS and glasses with 3K x 3K screens for each eye.

This platform will coexist with the previous Snapdragon XR1, placing itself in a higher range, not only because of the integrated support for high-speed and low-latency 5G connectivity, but also because it offers superior power and performance along with support for new technologies and higher resolution glasses. available both for recreational and leisure uses or games as well as for professional environments with more specific and practical uses.

5G technology is the future in smartphones and connected devices, and VR / AR or Mixed Reality glasses (a combination of both) that work without the need for external hardware can directly benefit from the low latency and high bandwidth that the 5G.

The previous generation XR from Qualcomm is present in more than 30 glasses released in the last year, such as the Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive Cosmos, and several of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality models like Microsoft’s own Hololens 2.

With the launch of the platform Snapdargon XR2 5GQualcomm has also shown a reference design that will serve developers as a guide and as a sample of what this SoC is capable of.

As we said, the XR2 5G will coexist with the XR1 and will not replace it, generating two different ranges between those for mainstream use (with the XR1) and those for enthusiasts or those who need premium features with the XR2 5G.

Double the performance on CPU and GPU

Entering what it will offer in terms of performance, Qualcomm assures that the XR2 platform will double the performance in GPu and CPU of the Snapdragon 835, a SoC that would be equivalent to the XR1.

The performance when managing video is multiplied by four, and the resolution that can be handled by each eye is 6 times higher, achieving a considerable leap in that regard.

Also the Artificial Intelligence capabilities will be enhanced especially in XR2 with 15 TOPS, 11 times more than the Snapdragon 835

Going into numbers, the XR2’s GPU is capable of processing 1.5 times more shaders and pixels, multiplying by three the rate of processed texels compared to the previous generation.

This translates to resolutions that can exceed 3000 x 3000 pixels for each eye at 90 FPS, that is, total resolutions of more than 6000 x 3000 pixels.

When it comes to handling videos, an important part of virtual reality experiences, the Snapdragon XR2 platform promises 8K video playback with 60 FPS or 4K at 120 FPS, resolutions so far difficult to see in standalone VR glasses, that is to say , that do not require a PC or external devices.

It also introduces support for 120Hz refresh rates and, of course, support for HDR10 and HDR10 + content at the processing level, all thanks to an SoC created exclusively to reduce latency in augmented reality content.

The development prototype will have 7 concurrent cameras, one of the technologies that the XR2 will support, allowing 3D real-time positioning useful both to be aware of the three-dimensional environment and to generate overlays in AR and Mixed Reality.

Artificial Intelligence to improve the recognition of the environment

The XR2 relies on AI to improve the three-dimensional processing of the environment, with special mention for the 3D object reconstruction, detection of objects and recognition of elements that are around us, detection and processing of depth of field.

Naturally, the SoC will also be in charge of managing the peripherals and control systems, either through the gesture recognition, the use of specific control knobs and also voice control. Will even be able to make translations simultaneous, a technology with multiple applications at a professional and educational level.

The XR2 platform will be able to process the environment with the help of Artificial Intelligence, detecting objects in a three-dimensional environment, separating them according to type or identification and integrating them into an artificially generated virtual environment, either as they really are or modifying them to turn them into other elements.

This technology would allow, for example, to generate an action game in our home, replacing the chairs with enemies or elements of the game environment, or adding, for example, suits and helmets to the rest of the people in the environment. Although it could also be used to highlight or identify machinery elements to be repaired by operators if we are looking for a use away from entertainment, the possibilities are endless.

In short, the Snapdragon XR2 5G is the first SoC for virtual / augmented reality with 5G capable of handling 7 concurrent cameras, play 8K video at 60 FPS on screens up to 3K x 3K per eye for a 100% immersive experience in mixed reality systems.

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