Day two of Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Chipset Summit hosted the unveiling of the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 — the company’s first dedicated AR chip — designed to better deliver AR experiences through smart glasses and other wearable devices.
Qualcomm already has a well-established presence in the XR (Virtual Reality/VR, Mixed Reality/MR and Augmented Reality/AR) space, with Meta Quest 2 And the Peak 4 It runs specifically on the company’s latest XR2 platform, while the Meta was new Quest Pro The headset — which immerses itself a bit in mixed reality thanks to its full color passthrough support — is one of the first headsets to run on Qualcomm’s improved XR2 Plus chipset. However, the experiences and hardware that the AR2 Gen 1 is designed to support are slightly different.
Until now, even the current augmented reality devices powered by Qualcomm technology, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2Their size and shape are determined, in part, by the size and power requirements of the existing chipsets on which they run. Despite approaching a look that more closely matches traditional everyday sunglasses, even the company’s Snapdragon XR1 AR reference design comes with chunky arms and unusual proportions to fit the XR1 chipset inside.
Despite the somewhat confusing name, the newly unveiled Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 is Qualcomm’s first attempt at a custom AR platform to better fit the targeted form factor of augmented reality glasses; It’s an augmented reality system that doesn’t have to compromise the dimensions of traditional sunglasses the way previous attempts have, while at the same time providing better connectivity and lower latency experiences than previous devices.
Instead of having to fit a single SoC into the bridge or arms of a pair of smart glasses, three elements of the AR2 Gen 1 are decoupled to reduce the platform’s overall footprint; making it easy to fit into a wider range of form factors.
Compared to the XR2, the AR2 Gen 1 features a 40% smaller PCB and 45% fewer wires, with the new reference design that Qualcomm showed off during the summit, placing the main AR processor in one arm, the communication module in the other and the AR coprocessor in the other. the bridge.
With heavier computing offloaded to a support device (like a smartphone), AR2 Gen 1 devices can instead focus on delivering a faster, more responsive experience, punctuated by the same in-house FastConnect 7800 WiFi module as the company’s newly announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 A mobile chip that offers 7 advanced Wi-Fi speeds.