Earlier this year, Samsung revealed during the Galaxy S23 launch event that it is working on an XR headset. The company is working with Google and Qualcomm for its first mixed-reality headset, and it will use Google's platform and a Qualcomm chip. And that chip could be the one that Qualcomm unveiled yesterday: Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2. The company also unveiled the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 chip for AR glasses.
Will Samsung XR headset use Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip?
The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 is Qualcomm's flagship processor designed for AR (Augmented Reality), MR (Mixed Reality), and VR (Virtual Reality) headsets. It has been designed in collaboration with Meta and has already been used in Meta's Quest 3 mixed-reality headset that was announced earlier this week. The new chip is claimed to offer 2.5x faster GPU and 8x faster AI processing than the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chip that was launched last year.
It can support up to 3,000 x 3,000 pixels resolution display per eye, offering sharp and immersive visuals. It also offers more detailed textures, higher frame rates, and less jitter than last year's chip. More importantly, it offers 50% more power-efficient GPU, so there's no need for an external battery pack like the Apple Vision Pro headset needs.
For AR and MR headsets, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 offers support for up to 10 concurrent cameras (and sensors) and can switch to a see-through mode in just 12ms. This enables a more realistic and life-like transition between AR, MR, and VR modes. It also allows for thinner, lighter, and more comfortable headsets that allow people to wear them for a longer period. The chip also supports faster connectivity, thanks to Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3.
Qualcomm says AR/MR headsets based on this chip will be launched in early 2024, and if Samsung isn't using a completely different chip, its XR headset could use the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2. However, we think Samsung could use an exclusive chip for its first mixed-reality headset.
Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 is made for lightweight AR glasses
The Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 is Qualcomm's latest chip for AR glasses. It brings improved on-device AI processing, better noise cancellation, and better image quality. It supports up to 12MP cameras (6MP for video) and up to eight microphones, offering better camera quality, visuals, and audio quality. On-board cameras can support autofocus, auto-exposure, computational HDR, and even portrait mode.
It supports 1,280 x 1,280 pixels resolution per eye and on-glass AI processing for features like visual search and real-time language translation. It also has Wi-Fi 7 for faster connectivity with a paired device.