Snapdragon AR2 Multi-chip Architecture for AR Glasses

yesterday at Snapdragon Summitrevealed Hugo Swart, Vice President, XR Product Management, Qualcomm Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1a three-chip hardware platform that will power next-generation augmented reality glasses.

The new Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 is the latest addition to Qualcomm’s Extended Reality (XR) product line.

The system consists of one AR processoris located in the right temple of the glasses AR coprocessor is located on the front in the center, just behind the camera module, and a Qualcomm Fast Connect 7800 Connectivity chip in the left temple.

For once, Qualcomm hasn’t integrated all the chips into a single large SoC, instead splitting the hardware into three small packages to help OEMs deliver thin and light designs for their next-gen AR glasses.

To enable the slim form factor, the Snapdragon AR2 distributes the processing load between the glasses and a Snapdragon-powered smartphone, PC or other compatible host device.

According to the chipmaker, the main processor occupies a 40% smaller PCB area on glass compared to the Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design powered by Snapdragon XR2.

The AR2 platform achieves a 50% increase in AI performance while consuming 50% less power than the previous generation. Qualcomm developed the AR2 to power glasses that draw less than 1W.

That AR processoroptimized for low motion-to-photon latency (less than 9 ms), supports up to 9 cameras for environment scanning and user.

That AR processor Features a hardware acceleration engine for better tracking and localization of user movements and an AI accelerator to reduce latency for input interactions like hand tracking or 6DoF. Finally, the chip manages the display output.

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That AR coprocessor aggregates camera and sensor data and provides eye tracking for foveated rendering, to optimize graphics rendering performance. In addition, the processing unit provides Iris authentication.

The connectivity chip is based on Qualcomm FastConnect 7800, a connectivity system that supports Wi-Fi 7. Thanks to this tiny connectivity chip, OEMs can deliver less than 2ms latency between the AR glasses and the smartphone host device. Qualcomm offers the FastConnect XR software suite 2.0to help developers better control the XR data, reduce latency and jitter, and prevent interference.

Qualcomm offers the Snapdragon Spaces XR developer platforman OpenXR SDK tailored for Qualcomm XR products, providing common software features that most XR apps require.

Since Snapdragon rooms Adhering to the open-source specifications, the three-chip AR2 system could also work with a non-Snapdragon phone or mobile device. We can assume that Snapdragon Spaces will work optimally with the latest Snapdragon mobile devices.

History of Qualcomm XR platforms:

Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1, Qualcomm’s latest chipset for VR headsets combining mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR), was launched on October 11, 2022 and supports the Meta Quest Pro announced at Meta Connect 2022. The XR2 Plus delivers 50% more continuous power and 30% improved thermal performance over its predecessor.

Snapdragon XR2 5G (XR2 Gen 1) was launched on December 4, 2019, an XR platform supporting the Lynx R-1 Mixed Reality (MR) headset and the Wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design, among others.

Snapdragon XR1 was launched in May 2018 and powers the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses unveiled at CES 2021.

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