21 January 2020
Qualcomm has unveiled Snapdragon X2 as the world's first extended reality platform with 5G network support. It is a successor to the Snapdragon X1 platform and brings a number of significant upgrades. One of the biggest ones is undoubtedly the use of the latest Snapdragon 865 processor which is a huge improvement over the previously used Snapdragon 835.
The newest processor ensures that Snapdragon X2 delivers twice the CPU and GPU performance than the predecessor. It also offers 4x video bandwidth, 6x higher resolution, and 11x artificial intelligence (AI) improvement. The hardware is further packed with a dedicated computer vision processor and seven concurrent cameras. The latter makes it capable of a far more accurate head, lips, and eye movement tracking along with 26-point skeletal hand tracking.
In order to deliver hyper-realistic visuals, Qualcomm has loaded the platform with a 1.5x pixel rate and a 3x texel rate. Its display panel has 3K by 3K resolution per eye and that too at 90 frames per second. It is claimed to be the first XR platform to offer compatibility with 8K videos, including 360-degree videos, at 60 frames per second.
The team has also focused on audio quality as it supports 3D spatial sound to offer an even more immersive experience. It has a custom-built and always-on Hexagon DSP for "features like voice activation and context detection to help keep users’ head in the digital world while having an ear in the real world".
Qualcomm said that it is working with multiple OEMs to commercial devices based on the Snapdragon XR2 platform. It is hopeful that the native support for 5G will allow it to be affordable than other stand-alone headsets. It is unknown when exactly we will start to see devices based on the platform but as and when it happens, we will make sure to keep you updated.