Qualcomm reveals Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR headset reference design

Laverne Mann
February 22, 2018

Qualcomm also announced a new technology called Adreno Foveation which uses a combination of "graphics rendering and eye tracking to understand where the user is looking".

While few specs for the headset were revealed today, we do know plenty about the mobile platform, which will use room-scale six degrees of freedom head tracking with simultaneous localization and mapping.

The reference device in question is the headset you see above, and it's based on the latest version of the Snapdragon Mobile VR platform that's powered by the Snapdragon 845.

Qualcomm will be demoing the capabilities of the Snapdragon 845 and the AI Engine at Mobile World Congress.

The next-generation Qualcomm TrueWireless technology is supported on the recently introduced QCC5100 series breakthrough Bluetooth audio System-on-Chip (SoC), which is created to help reduce power consumption by up to 65 percent for voice call and music streaming compared to our previous generation device.

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Another new feature joining the Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm Broadcast Audio, which will allow a single Bluetooth device to send music to multiple devices at once, with near flawless synchronisation.

Back in December, Qualcomm also released a few interesting pieces of information regarding the 845's technical specifications.

The system will deliver up to 4 million pixels per eye, and the 845 chip offers 30 percent faster graphics performance and 30 percent better power efficiency than the previous generation of chips. The headset uses the similarly named mobile Snapdragon 845 system architecture that the company announced last month, which can be used for VR and AR.

In their announcement, Qualcomm has listed a number of partners including Xiaomi, OnePlus, vivo, OPPO, Motorola, ASUS and ZTE who are already utilising the AI engine components to "to accelerate AI applications on their devices". The AI Engine also comes with the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine software framework, to help developers choose the optimal Snapdragon core for the desired user experience. The Hexagon Neural Network (NN) library, another, allows developers to run AI algorithms on the Hexagon Vector Processor. SenseTime and Face++ offer pre-trained neural networks for image and camera features such as single-camera bokeh effects, facial authentication, and scene detection. Elliptic Labs provides Snapdragon customers with ultrasound-based gesture controls for smartphones. Broadcast Audio allows one Bluetooth source device, such as a smartphone, to transmit audio to multiple Bluetooth speakers or headphones at the same time, with near ideal synchronisation. It can be added retroactively to devices via an over-the-air update, the company says.

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