This Friday, Meta announced a long-term partnership with global chipset manufacturer Qualcomm to provide custom components for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) hardware.
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During the opening keynote at IFA Berlin 2022, Qualcomm’s CEO and President, Christiano Amon, explained that the partnership leverages pre-existing technical collaboration between both parties to expand extended reality (XR) innovation.
The two firms already have a storied history of collaboration. Still, the most recent announcement deepens the partnership as they aim to create hardware designed to power new Metaverse experiences.
Qualcomm is designing optimised custom processors for upcoming Meta headsets, although the manufacturer notes that the components will not be exclusive to Meta hardware.
Conversely, Meta will be designing custom silicon solutions for its devices, enabling the accelerated growth of Metaverse experiences.
In a statement to Reuters, Meta spokesperson Tyler Yee said that the partnership will create the “best metaverse experiences possible.”
He also added,
“There could be situations where we use off-the-shelf silicon or work with industry partners on customisations while also exploring our own novel silicon solutions. There could also be scenarios where we use both partner and custom solutions in the same product”
Snapdragon Spaces: Innovations in XR
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces platform provides an ecosystem to facilitate XR hardware and software development.
The Snapdragon Spaces software development kit (SDK) provides locational tracking, image recognition, and hand tracking tools. The open platform also allows participating developers to create monetised mobile XR experiences.
Although Snapdragon Spaces is more than an SDK, Qualcomm uses its platform to provide opportunities to third-party developers. The chipset manufacturer is partnering with many leading XR firms to provide funding and resources to emerging augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) projects.
In July, Samsung Electronics partnered with Qualcomm to secure 3G, 4G, and 5G components up to 2030. The deal provides XR parts for Samsung’s upcoming smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and notably facilitates device interoperability for emerging XR hardware.
Additionally, Qualcomm is collaborating with T-Mobile to run an XR accelerator to fund developers, startups, and entrepreneurs. The alliance’s vision is to bring new AR products and services to market. Participating companies include NFT platform Krikey, immersive education firm VictoryXR, and immersive games developer Mohx Games.