Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 was the first processor from the company dedicated to extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) applications. It found its way in various hardware development kits, a well as Google Glass Enterprise Edition v2.
We missed the company’s announcement of the Snapdragon XR2 platform with 5G support last December, but Qualcomm has now just unveiled the Snapdragon XR2 5G Reference Design to help OEMs shorten time to market.
Qualcomm did not provide detailed specifications, but the company claims Snapdragon XR2 delivers 2x the CPU and GPU performance, 4x more video bandwidth, 6x higher resolution and 11x AI improvement compared to Snapdragon 835 Mobile XR Platform.
It’s also the first XR/VR platform to support seven concurrent cameras, optional 5G connectivity, and enables “true” MR (Mixed Reality) thanks to low latency camera pass-through.
Some of the highlights of the processor include:
- Up to 3K by 3K resolution per eye at 90 frames per second (fps)
- Support for 8K 360o videos at 60 fps
- Seven concurrent cameras coupled with a custom computer vision processor.
- Support for 3D spatial sound
- AI acceleration
- Optional 5G connectivity
The company also introduced the first-ever 5G-enabled extended-reality (XR) reference design headset based on the Snapdragon XR2 Platform and designed for “next-generation premium-quality” augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) devices for consumers and enterprise markets.
The reference design supports up to seven cameras including two internal cameras to track eye movements, a total of four external cameras including two RGB cameras for MR experiences and two for head tracking. If you’ve been counting that’s a total of six cameras, but the hardware also supports the addition of an extra camera for facial and lip tracking or a second monochrome camera for controller tracking.
Snapdragon XR2 platform is complemented with Snapdragon X55 5G Modem with native support for 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz for low-latency applications. On-device AI processing can also be augmented with compute at the Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) via a 5G connection, or a 60 GHz WiGig wireless connection.
Some other notable features include an IR emitter for hand tracking and head tracking with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), 3D audio and voice commands, and a dual 2Kx2K LCD. Low latency 6DoF controller and peripheral device tracking is enabled thanks to Northern Digital’s Atraxa electromagnetic tracking technology and foveated rendering – lowering resources requirements by rendering scenes/objects in peripheral vision to lower quality – is made possible thanks to Tobii Spotlight Technology.
You’ll find out a little more about both Snapdragon XR2 SoC and the reference design on the relevant product page on Qualcomm’s website.