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Custom processors from Qualcomm will be used in Meta’s virtual reality headsets

The firms today announced that Qualcomm Inc. will provide special processors for Meta Platforms Inc.’s Quest line of virtual reality headsets.

The relationship was referred to by the corporations as a multiple-year broad-scale strategic arrangement. Together with the technical and development teams from the world’s largest social networking company, Qualcomm chip designers will design unique CPUs for Meta. The Presence Platform, a collection of software elements created by Meta to facilitate the creation of mixed reality apps, will purportedly operate on these CPUs.

The upcoming chips’ technical specifications were not disclosed by the firms. The processors will, however, be driven by Snapdragon XR platforms and innovation, they said. Qualcomm has created a line of mixed reality CPUs called Snapdragon XR.

The premium Oculus Quest 2 VR headset from Meta is powered by the XR2 5G, the most recent CPU in the Snapdragon XR family. A system-on-chip, which is basically a chip with many kinds of computer units, is what the XR2 5G is. In order to link VR headsets to 5G networks, it has a GPU, a CPU, and a modem.

Additionally, the XR2 5G has more specialised parts. Qualcomm claims that the processor includes a processing unit called the Engine for Visual Analytics that is specially made to aid in the speedy functioning of VR applications. Furthermore, the XR2 5G has tweaks that make it possible for it to run AI applications 11 times as fast Qualcomm’s previous-generation mixed reality chip.

It’s possible that Qualcomm’s specially designed processors for Meta’s Quest headsets may include AI enhancements. The Presence Platform, a software platform included with Meta’s Quest headset series, offers capabilities that let programmers create VR apps more quickly. This platform contains a number of AI components. Therefore, a chip with AI-optimised circuits might aid in the acceleration of the programme.

By 2024, Meta allegedly intends to release four more VR headsets. Two high-end headsets that are designed for productivity are supposedly included in the lineup, along with two additional entry-level items that will sell for less money. The latter two devices are anticipated to be made accessible as a part of the Quest headset line, therefore Qualcomm’s specialised processors may be included in them.

The investments made by Meta in VR devices play a significant role in the growth of the metaverse as a whole. A more advanced internet that incorporates more augmented reality and virtual reality components is known as the metaverse. More than $10 billion was invested in metaverse-related projects by Meta last year.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer, of Meta, said that for the company’s Quest project plan, collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies on specialised virtual reality chipsets that are driven by Snapdragon XR innovations and platform. He added that it has become more crucial to develop specialised technologies to enhance the company’s next line of VR headsets and other offerings as the company prolongs efforts to nurture more advanced capabilities and experiences for both AR and VR.

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