Back in December 2017, Qualcomm unveiled its next-generation flagship processor, the Snapdragon 845. Samsung's Galaxy S9 is set to become one of the first smartphones powered by the processor, which have a lot of key advantages over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 835. Now it seems, we'll be seeing a similar story in the field of virtual reality (VR) as well. Qualcomm has just revealed a new reference design for a Snapdragon 845 virtual reality (VR) headset.
The 845 platform will bring some much-needed improvements to mobile VR. The Qualcomm Kryo 385 CPU, coupled with the Adreno 630 GPU, will enable bigger and better virtual worlds on mobile. The CPU and GPU, along with the dedicated Hexagon digital signal processor (DSP) and the Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP), will deliver up to four million pixels per eye. The platform will also include sensors and cameras inside the head-mounted display. The simultaneous localisation and mapping of the real-world around you will help you avoid objects while enjoying the VR experience. You can even integrate the objects into the virtual environment. The new platform also supports 3D audio.
According to Qualcomm, the latest version of the Snapdragon Mobile VR platform offers "more than twice as much display throughput" when compared to Qualcomm's VR platform based on the Snapdragon 835. The Snapdragon 845 headset is capable of displaying two 2400 x 2400 pixel screens at 120 frames per second, much higher than most of the existing headsets.
The reference headset also has a new feature called "Adreno Foveation." The feature, with the help of the cameras, will be able to detect where the user’s eye is focused. The Adreno GPU will then produce sharper graphics on that area, while lowering the resolution of the peripheral vision areas. The result is that it doesn’t waste performance and power on what your eyes don’t see. Thanks to this feature, the new headset will offer 30% faster performance, and will use 30% less power.
Qualcomm will be showing off this latest reference headset at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona next week. At MWC 2017, Qualcomm announced the reference design for the 835, followed by product announcements in the summer. The products eventually hit the market in the later half of the year. So it’s reasonable to expect a similar timeline for the Snapdragon 845 products.