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Qualcomm’s new smartphone chip is all about virtual reality

Qualcomm’s next flagship smartphone chip is all about enabling virtual reality.

According to the company, the Snapdragon 820 offers a trinity of features to enable the virtual-reality future, as revealed to TrustedReviews at the chipset’s New York launch event.

The US chipmaker says that the new model offers “crisp details, smooth visuals and accurate colours” to keep VR feeling immersive.

It also supports “3D surround sound and clarity” because, according to Qualcomm, the audio “has to be real”.

The challenge for VR audio is that it needs to be 3D positional,” a Qualcomm spokesperson explains. “But VR, you’re actually not just hearing something from your left or your right or your front or your back. Things approach you.”

And finally, Qualcomm talked up the speed of its next chip – courtesy of the new Kyro CPU and Adreno 530 GPU – which brings “responsive, seamless, intelligent, and personalised” processing, to keep your VR lag-free.

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It’s a good move for Qualcomm, as the impending release of several major VR headsets – the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive – means virtual reality is about to take off.

If Qualcomm can get a handle of mobile VR courtesy of the Snapdragon 820, it could open up a new revenue stream for the firm.

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