Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR 2 Platform
Qualcomm’s launch of a refreshed Snapdragon XR chipset comes at a very opportune time. XR1 was the first dedicated silicon for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) use cases, and a refresh to this platform will help spur OEMs to also refresh their offerings with potentially significant improvements. This comes at a time of both experimentation and maturation from hardware and software vendors in the AR and VR space. The expected improvements in processing power and resolution support are joined by some more interesting new capabilities that will greatly expand overall hardware possibilities and potential use cases. More concurrent cameras will improve tracking, lower latencies help maintain immersion and reduce potential user discomfort and foveated rendering and eye-tracking support will open further opportunities both in raw compute requirement reduction as well as novel use cases thanks to a new input method.
The benefits of combining of AR/VR, 5G, and AI has been discussed plenty already, but silicon level support for these three technologies offers a low-level foundation to realize these benefits. Ubiquitous connectivity aligns with the desire for ubiquitous content access and delivering valuable content in both consumer and enterprise applications can be guided and improved by AI.
The timing of XR2 aligns well with the promise of a growing overall XR ecosystem, with some newfound excitement around VR gaming, increasing conversation and action around consumer AR smart glasses, and a maturing enterprise AR ecosystem looking to fully capitalize on ROI potential.
Eric Abbruzzese is Research Director at ABI Research