Qualcomm Accelerates XR Headset Development with the New Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 5G Reference Design

Snapdragon XR2 Reference Design Delivers an End-to-End Boundless XR Over 5G Solution and Helps to Shorten Commercialization Time of XR Devices for OEMs

Feb 25, 2020 – San Diego – Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. unveiled a new extended reality (XR) reference design headset based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 Platform, making it the world’s first 5G-enabled XR reference design that packs superior performance, immersion and interactivity. Culminating four generations of XR reference design expertise with breakthrough foundational technology, the reference design simplifies complex technologies and enables customers to bring the next generation of premium-quality augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) devices to consumers and the enterprise in 2020.

Powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Platform, the reference design has 2x the CPU and GPU performance, 4x more video bandwidth, 6x higher resolution and 11x AI improvement compared to our current widely adopted XR platform[1]. The reference design supports up to seven cameras. It features two internal cameras, one for each eye to support eye tracking. It also includes four external cameras, two RGB cameras for MR experiences and two for head tracking which can also be used to generate accurate depth maps. This reference design allows partners to assemble different configurations with an additional camera for facial and lip tracking or a second monochrome camera for controller tracking.

For the first time on an XR headset, the Snapdragon XR2 reference design delivers a comprehensive, end-to-end boundless XR over 5G solution with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X55 5G Modem-RF System to allow OEMs to rapidly develop 5G XR devices for global networks. With native support for 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz, the reference design has been tested and validated over Ericsson’s 5G infrastructure providing low latency connection. Ericsson’s 5G platform includes dual mode 5G Core in a distributed cloud and radio networks catering to the needs of the low latency applications and supporting many business models such as private networks and public mobile networks over a specific network slice. With the distributed compute framework that unlocks boundless XR, on-device processing can now be augmented with compute at the Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) via a 5G connection, or on a nearby PC using a 60-GHz wireless connection, in order to achieve a new level of immersion and never-seen-before experiences.

In addition to components, the reference design includes an IR emitter for hand tracking and head tracking with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) to coexist. Other feature enablements include 3D audio and voice commands and 2Kx2K per eye dual panel LCD support. The reference design has embedded technology partners including the Atraxa electromagnetic tracking technology from Northern Digital Inc. (NDI) that enables accurate, low latency 6DoF controller and peripheral device tracking without line-of-sight restrictions. Compatibility with embedded eye tracking from Tobii includes Tobii Spotlight Technology™ for foveated rendering which helps optimize system resources.

Goertek developed this VR form factor of the reference design to enable global manufacturers to quickly scale and build AR, VR and MR devices for commercial use. The Snapdragon XR2 reference design helps OEMs bring futuristic experiences to consumers and the enterprise and is expected to be available for select partners in the coming months. For more information, please visit The Snapdragon XR2 5G Platform Product Page.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G.  When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born.  Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone.  We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.

[1] Compared to Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile XR Platform


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