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Qualcomm Snapdragon, the brain behind most of the smartphones that we use is leading the smartphone industry by offering cutting-edge SoCs, which can offer desktop level processing on a handheld device. Recently, the chip maker also partnered with different laptops OEMs to launch ARM-based ultrabooks, which offer faster LTE speeds with impeccable battery performances. And now, the company has launched a dedicated chipset, which could potentially power every VR or AR headset that might launch in the near future.
Will this compete against the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive?
The simple answer is no. In fact, companies like Oculus and HTC might use this chipset on their forthcoming VR, AR, or Google Day Dream enabled headsets to offer intuitive features.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon X21 Soc consist of both CPU and GPU based on ARM technology with a dedicated AI engine and machine learning capabilities. The chipset can playback 4K HDR footages with up to 60fps using a head mounted display (display units built on to the VR headsets). The XR1 is an efficient chipset, which does all the above-mentioned things with low energy consumption and is also great with thermals.
Looking at this chipset from tech-geek's perspective, then the Qualcomm Snapdragon X21 supports Open GL, the Vulkan API, and Open CL. In terms of audio profiles, the chipset can handle binaural sound, Qualcomm's 3D audio suite, Aqstic Audio Technologies and even Qualcomm's signature wireless aptX Audio is also on cards. The SoC also supports up to 360-degree head tracking and also comes with an array of sensors to reduce the latency to just 20ms.
Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, and general manager, Mobile Business Unit, Qualcomm Technology said:
"As technology evolves and consumer demand grows, we envision XR devices playing a wider variety of roles in consumers' and workers' daily lives. By integrating powerful visuals, high-fidelity audio, and rich interactive experiences, XR1 will help create a new era of high-quality, mainstream XR devices for consumers."