Qualcomm’s new XR chipset aims to compete with the Vision Pro

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon presenting onstage at Snapdragon Summit 2023.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

A year after Qualcomm, Samsung, and Google announced, uh, something VR-related, one potential component of the project is coming into focus: the Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2. The new chipset is designed as a step up from the XR2 Gen 2 in the Meta Quest 3, capable of rendering high-resolution visuals like the ones promised by Apple’s Vision Pro.

The XR2 Plus Gen 2 supports 4.3K resolution at 90fps per eye, which is a cut above the XR2 Gen 2’s 3K-per-eye rendering. It also supports 12 concurrent cameras to handle passthrough video as well as body and face tracking. Qualcomm says that the new chipset offers a 15 percent increase in GPU frequency compared to the standard XR2 Gen 2 and 20 percent greater CPU frequency — all in service of “spatial computing in 4K.”

Bento box spec slide highlighting differences between the existing chipset and new one.

Bento box spec slide highlighting differences between the existing chipset and new one.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm is offering an AR and VR reference design to help OEMs fast-track production and says it’s working with at least five hardware makers, including HTC. The company also highlights its aforementioned partnership with Samsung and Google prominently as part of this announcement — but concrete availability details are still scarce. Google has faced some internal turmoil on its AR team, and reports suggest that Samsung has experienced delays on the hardware side, too. Meanwhile, Apple might be just a few weeks away from launching the Vision Pro.

We may not have to wait long to find out a little more about what’s coming from Samsung, Google, and Qualcomm — Samsung is hosting Unpacked in San Jose just a couple of weeks from now. What better place to preview a Vision Pro competitor than down the street from Cupertino?

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