Qualcomm teases what its Snapdragon 845 can do for VR

Above Top view of Qualcomm’s 845-based VR reference

The new platform will be the brains of standalone mobile VR headsets, which don't have to be connected to a PC to operate. "We are working with major partners, and we will have complete reference designs for standalone VR and smartphone VR".

Although we first heard about the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform in December, seeing the reference design gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the next generation of mobile VR headsets.

Thanks to the Adreno 630, the headset exhibits 30 percent faster graphics performance, 30 percent better power efficiency, and more than twice as much display throughput compared to the Snapdragon 835 reference headset. Foveated rendering will be included in the specs for the reference design and will allow a pair of cameras to track where your eyes are looking and will adjust the resolution to lighten the load on the graphics processing. It is engineered to direct the highest graphics resources to where the user is physically looking, providing the sharpest visuals possible.

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Working with French auto manufacturer Groupe PSA, Qualcomm has been using its 9150 C-V2X chipset and reference platform to test its ability to support autonomous communication between vehicles.

However, the Snapdragon 845 chipset isn't just bringing new features and a few technical improvements.

This is comprised of several hardware and software components to accelerate on-device AI-enabled user experiences. The key benefits of on-device AI include real-time responsiveness, improved privacy, and enhanced reliability.

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Qualcomm has kicked off a raft of new announcements ahead of Mobile World Congress, including their new AI Engine powered by both new, and existing Snapdragon processors.

One of the components is the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE), a framework created to make it easier for developers to choose which Snapdragon core - the Hexagon Vector Processor, Adreno GPU, or Kryo CPU - to use for AI-enabled applications. The AI Engine also supports the Android Neural Networks API found in Android Oreo, and the Hexagon Neural Network (NN) will allow developers freedom to choose the processor for their AI-centric application.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC also offers additional performance gains that designers can enable with eye tracking hardware. Some are also planning to optimize AI applications using the AI Engine on future flagship smartphones using Snapdragon. The Android app uses AI Engine components to accelerate frame rates of the popular game. Additionally, Baidu intends to fully support Qualcomm AI Engine and its ecosystem.

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Furthermore, Qualcomm states this tech features "near ideal synchronization", meaning regardless of which audio sources are connected, the audio playing should be synced well enough that you don't hear any odd timing.



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