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Snapdragon XR1 | Chip Designed For AR/XR Application

At the Augmented Real World Expo (AWE), Qualcomm held a new product launch event and officially launched the world’s first XR platform – Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM XR1 platform. The system-on-chip is specifically designed for extended/augmented/virtual reality headsets. Snapdragon XR1 features the usual Arm based Kryo cores, Adreno GPU, Hexagon DSP, ISP, and so on, However, the company did not disclose details specifications about the platform / SoC.

Snapdragon XR1 Platform
Image Credit: Qualcomm

Snapdragon XR1 Features

The XR1 integrates with Qualcomm Technologies’ heterogeneous computing architecture, including ARM-based multi-core CPUs, vector processors, graphics processors (GPUs), and the Qualcomm® artificial intelligence engine AI Engine. Other key features include the XR software service layer, machine learning, Snapdragon XR Software Development Kit (SDK), and Qualcomm Technologies’ connection and security technologies.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 supports 4K@60fps and supports Ultra HD 4K video resolution at frame rates up to 60 frames per second. The new dedicated hardware and software algorithms in the Qualcomm SpectraTM Image Signal Processor (ISP) reduce unwanted noise in the capture and improve the final picture in the AR helmet. The integrated display processor provides hardware-accelerated compositing, dual-screen support, 3D overlays, and graphical API support including OpenGL, OpenCL, and Vulkan for a range of display options.

On the audio side, the XR1 platform uses Qualcomm Technologies 3D audio suite, Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology, and Qualcomm® aptXTM audio to support high-fidelity audio experience and “always-on, always-on” voice assistance, as well as Bluetooth playback.

In addition, the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor supports three-degrees-of-freedom (3DoF) and six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) head tracking and controller functionality.

First Thoughts

The consumer electronics segment, especially – Smartphones embraced the AI trend, wherein, using machine learning and NLP technologies are enabling advanced features. In view of the above, XR1 also seeks to provide advanced computing capabilities to AR/XR applications. Recently, inexpensive mobile platforms such as MediaTek Helio P22 and Snapdragon 710 were launched in the market with AI capabilities.

The XR1 platform is specifically optimized for the augmented reality (AR) experience, providing better interactivity, power performance, and thermal efficiency through artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Qualcomm announced that vendors such as Meta, Vive, Vuzix, and Pico have developed based on the first dedicated XR1 platform.

That’s not that much public information, but the press release also mentions Meta, VIVE, Vuzix and Picoare are already developing products based on XR1 platform. Not that many more details can be found on the product page.