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What is Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2? Qualcomm’s new mixed reality chip

Qualcomm has officially revealed the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip, made for mixed reality and virtual reality headsets. The processor will debut on the Meta Quest 3. Here are all the key details.

The virtual reality genre shows no signs of going away, with Apple finally jumping on the band waggon with its Vision Pro reveal earlier this year.

Meta was quick to reveal its latest and greatest headset too. The Quest 3 is set to be powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip, which Qualcomm says was created in close collaboration with Meta itself. The same goes for the new Snapdragon AR Gen 1 chip, made for smart glasses. Let’s take a close look at the new Quest 3 chip.

What is Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2?

The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 is the newest virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) chip from Qualcomm. It will power the new Meta Quest 3.

Compared with the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, it is set to offer 2.5x higher GPU performance, up to 50% improved power efficiency and 8x improved AI capabilities. Qualcomm has worked with Meta to create the new chip, but more devices from other manufacturers will come in 2024.

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The new mixed reality chip aims to deliver “breathtaking visuals” and “extreme power efficiency”, with the added graphical power aiming to provide improved clarity, textures and colour – all at a higher frame rate. With this chip, the focus is on optimising performance for 3K resolution per eye. As opposed to the Apple Vision Pro, Qualcomm also touts no external battery pack is needed.

Meta Quest 3
Meta Quest 3 – Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Higher fidelity positional tracking is onboard, boosted by the new AI capabilities, with support for up to ten concurrent cameras. Both MR and VR experiences will be available, with full-colour video-pass-through provided with just 12ms of latency.

The chip features Qualcomm FastConnect Wi-Fi 6E/7 and the Qualcomm FastConnect Software Suite for XR to ensure speedy connectivity. There’s also the Snapdragon Sound Technology Suite, enabling spatial audio on headsets as well as with low-latency audio for wireless headphones.

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