Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon AR2 Chip for AR Glasses
Qualcomm has announced a new triple-chip solution for wireless augmented reality glasses called Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1.
The AR2 chip isn’t built for standalone headsets or glasses. It can handle computer vision tasks like hand tracking and position tracking but the actual augmented reality apps are run by an external device that contains a more powerful Qualcomm chip. That external device could be a smartphone or a compute puck. The output from the external device is wirelessly streamed to the AR glasses.
The wireless streaming link is provided by Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7800 wireless chip, an advanced, multi-link technology 14nm Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity system that provides wireless streaming at ultra-high speeds that run up to 5.8Gps and supports the new Wi-Fi 7 standard.
According to Qualcomm, the stream latency from the external devices to the glasses is less than 2ms. Most of the current augmented reality glasses like Nreal Light connect to the host phone through a USB-C cable.
The Snapdragon AR2 chip has been developed on a 4nm process node. According to Qualcomm, the new chip uses just half the power that the Snapdragon XR2 chip utilizes in standalone headsets. The multi-chip solution used in this SoC distributes the heat produced throughout the device and does not concentrate the heat in one location.
The lower consumption and efficient heat distribution in the AR chip means that it is possible to pair it up with smaller batteries as well as lighter cooling systems than is possible with conventional chipsets. This enables it to be used in devices that have form factors close to those of regular devices.
According to Qualcomm, multiple companies are already developing products that leverage the AR2 chip. These include Lenovo, Nreal, Sharp, LG, Xiaomi, Pico, Oppo, and TCL.