Qualcomm plans to launch new XR chips

Qualcomm’s most advanced XR chip to date is the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, which has been integrated into Meta’s latest XR device, the Quest 3. This chip, forged from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 blueprint, boasts GPU performance that is twice as formidable as its predecessor, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1—an enhancement that is quite pronounced. However, this is not the apex of Qualcomm’s achievements. Citing a report from MIXED, Hugo Swart, Vice President and General Manager of Qualcomm’s XR division, divulged in an interview with Electronic Times that they anticipate the release of the next-generation XR chip in the first quarter of 2024, and it is poised to be featured in premium headsets from Samsung and LG.

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Yet, Hugo Swart did not delve into the specifics of the devices, stating, “I cannot reveal the details, but we are collaborating with Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. LG has a lot of expertise in various fields. We are involved in the headset sector, and Samsung has made a lot of progress since the announcement of collaboration with Qualcomm and Google.”

Samsung proclaimed its collaboration with Qualcomm and Google during the Galaxy Unpacked event in February this year but similarly refrained from revealing more details. There is speculation that Samsung aims to compete with Apple, and it’s worth noting that at that time, the Vision Pro had not been officially unveiled.

While the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 in the Quest 3 already demonstrates commendable performance, it undeniably falls short when contrasted with Apple’s Vision Pro. Samsung and LG’s XR devices, which are positioned at the high end of the market, will inevitably require a more potent chip if they are to rival the Vision Pro. Although Hugo Swart did not provide further details, this “next-generation XR chip” could potentially be based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, or a Snapdragon X series designed for the next-generation PC platform—both of which were introduced at the recent Snapdragon Summit 2023, with the former being a mobile platform chip, and the latter suitable for the new generation of PC platforms.