MediaTek announces partnership with Meta to develop custom chips for AR glasses

Although Augmented Reality (AR) glasses have been a topic of discussion for many years, the technology has not yet fully matured. However, major manufacturers continue to diligently invest in relevant research, anticipating the right moment for market readiness. Meta, having reaped substantial success in the Virtual Reality (VR) market with its Quest series, has decided not to continue using Qualcomm’s solutions for its next-generation AR glasses. Instead, Meta has opted to collaborate with MediaTek to develop a customized chip.

MediaTek 3GPP NTN technology

As reported by Android Central, MediaTek has announced a partnership with Meta to co-develop a custom chip for the next generation of AR glasses, rumored to be released around 2027. In Meta’s existing product, the Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon AR1 Gen1 chip was utilized, retailing at $299.

This decision by Meta has surprised many industry insiders, as Meta’s past collaboration with Qualcomm was notably close-knit. This shift suggests that Meta may be reluctant to continue its partnership with Qualcomm in the future, possibly due to a divergence in their visions for AR glasses. Meta seems more inclined to align with its own specific needs. MediaTek has stated its commitment to creating a System on Chip (SoC) that is low in power consumption yet high in performance, with reduced latency, to meet the design requirements of lightweight, compact devices.

At this stage, technology has not advanced to the point where it can provide an efficient SoC for wearable devices like AR glasses. Therefore, it is likely that the ideal product will remain elusive for the next few years. Additionally, cost is a significant barrier, with rumors suggesting that one of the reasons Meta abandoned Qualcomm was due to the high cost of its solutions.