Apple’s Vision Pro isn’t even available yet (in fact, no one has even seen a single Apple employee wearing one) but Qualcomm is already prepared to power a competitor with the announcement of the XR2+ Gen 2 chipset.
As reported by The Verge, the XR2+ Gen 2 chip is very likely a higher-end, premium version of the chip that powers the Meta Quest 3 and it is also likely to be at the core of whatever virtual reality (VR) plans Google and Samsung have cooking.
Qualcomm’s new chip promises to have 15% increased GPU frequency and 20% increased CPU frequency compared to the company’s previous XR chip along with eight times better AI performance. It is also able to support “12 or more” concurrent cameras and is able to track the user, their movements, and the world around them to merge physical and digital spaces.
Those who have tried early prototypes of Apple’s Vision Pro have praised the quality of the headset’s displays which supposedly do the best job of any headset on the market of replicating the resolution of human vision. Apple’s forthcoming headset boasts 23 million pixels across two postage stamp-sized displays, giving the equivalent of a 4K display for each eye. Qualcomm’s new chip is capable of delivering the same — and perhaps slightly better.
“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,” Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, says.
“We are advancing our commitment to power the best XR devices and experiences that will supercharge our immersive future.”
Samsung and Google are both already committed to using the chip in future projects, but what those are exactly isn’t clear yet. That said, Samsung says it plans to create “best-in-class XR experience for Galaxy users” while Google is “excited for the Android ecosystem to take advantage of Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2’s capabilities and enable new experiences.”
With CES around the corner and Samsung’s Unpacked event planned for the following week, there are upcoming opportunities for the two companies to say something about their AR and VR aspirations. Samsung, in particular, could be choosing to unveil its version of the Vision Pro rather cheekily just up the highway from Apple’s headquarters at the San Jose-based Unpacked. Time will tell.