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Qualcomm brings 5G to headset gaming with its new Snapdragon XR2 Reference Design

The new Reference Design based on the Snapdragon XR2 platform. (Source: Qualcomm)
The new Reference Design based on the Snapdragon XR2 platform. (Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon XR2 Reference Design headset, the first such XR (as in, virtual, mixed or augmented reality) device that supports 5G. It does so via its in-built X55 modem, which is part of its latest hardware platform for this category of media. Therefore, OEMs may now start building their own headsets based on this new "boundless" artificial-reality tech.
Deirdre O Donnell,

Qualcomm has revealed its Snapdragon XR2 Reference Design, a new XR headset made in collaboration with the OEM Goertek. It is, therefore, the first such device with 5G, thanks to its mainboard that is host to an external X55 modem. Its maker asserts that the potential connectivity of which it is capable can deliver "boundless, end-to-end" XR for the headset's wearer

The XR2 hardware, announced in late 2019, confers its Reference Design with twice the CPU and GPU performance, as well as video bandwidth increased by 4 and resolutions bumped up by 6. In addition, its AI should be better by 11 times. These comparisons are made by the OEM in relation to the preceding XR platform, which was powered by the former flagship processor, the Snapdragon 835.

The XR2 Reference Design also incorporates the maximum camera count of 7 enabled by its up-to-date platform. This includes 2 internal eye-tracking sensors, as well as 2 RGB lenses for mixed reality (MR) applications and 2 others for external head-tracking. Therefore, other OEMs in the XR space may soon produce their own headsets with these specs.

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-02-27 (Update: 2020-02-27)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.