Qualcomm unveils new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chipset plus new VR & MR reference design

In Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality News

January 4, 2024 – Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has today announced its new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform, a single chip architecture that unlocks 4.3K per eye spatial computing at 90 frames per second, according to the company.

Building upon the capabilities of the recently announced Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, Qualcomm stated that the new ‘+’ version of its chipset helps to unleash a new tier of more realistic, detailed experiences in mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) with higher GPU frequency by 15% and CPU frequency by 20% when compared to the standard Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 platform.

Qualcomm stated that the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 platform supports 12 or more concurrent cameras with on-device AI, which will mean that devices powered by the chipset will be able to offer features such as full color video passthrough functionality, depth sensing, and eye, hand, head, face and controller tracking, all rolled into one product.

“Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 unlocks 4.3K resolution which will take XR productivity and entertainment to the next level by bringing spectacularly clear visuals to use cases such as room-scale screens, life-size overlays and virtual desktops,” said Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are advancing our commitment to power the best XR devices and experiences that will supercharge our immersive future.”

Also commenting on the announcement were representatives from Samsung Electronics and Google. It was unveiled at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event in February last year that Qualcomm, Samsung and Google would be teaming up to build a mixed-reality platform, with Samsung said to be working on the hardware, Google handling the software, and Qualcomm of course providing the chipset.

“Samsung is thrilled to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies and Google in revolutionizing the mobile industry once more.” Inkang Song, vice president and head of technology strategy team at Samsung Electronics, expressed his excitement, “With Samsung’s mobile expertise and our joint commitment, we aim to create the best-in-class XR experience for Galaxy users.”

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung on the future of immersive and spatial XR,” said Shahram Izadi, vice president of AR at Google. “We’re excited for the Android ecosystem to take advantage of Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2’s capabilities and enable new experiences.”

New MR & VR reference design

In addition to the XR2+ Gen 2 announcement, Qualcomm also unveiled a new MR & VR reference design to help accelerate time to market for OEMs. The new reference design was developed by Goertek and features eye tracking technology from Tobii. It also supports both 3K per eye (Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2) and 4K per eye (Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2) configurations.  

In a press call highlighting the XR2+ Gen 2, Said Bakadir, Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management went into more detail on the new platform, explaining that it is more than capable of handling advanced XR features such as super resolution, foveated rendering and space warp.

As XR devices become increasingly complex and capable of rendering advanced graphics, efficient power usage becomes crucial, particularly for devices with high-resolution displays featuring more pixels. Advanced on-device features such as foveated rendering play a significant role in conserving power and reducing the computational load. When coupled with other features such as eye tracking, foveated rendering becomes even more efficient, as it precisely renders in high resolution only the pixels where the user’s gaze is focused, while lessening the detail in peripheral areas. The XR2+ Gen 2 platform is seemingly more geared towards handling these sorts of features than its predecessors.

Bakadir also noted that so far five OEMs are currently developing solutions that utilize the XR2+ Gen 2. Companies already designing their next generation hardware based on the platform apparently include Samsung, HTC Vive, Immersed, and Play for Dream (formerly YVR). A fifth OEM will reportedly unveil their new product on January 8 at CES.

For more information on Qualcomm Technologies and its XR2+ Gen 2 platform, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.