Microsoft has announced today that its next HoloLens mixed reality headset is going to tout a custom artificial intelligence chip designed by the company itself. An important distinction has to be made here. Microsoft is only going to design this “coprocessor” and not manufacture it. The custom chip is going to be used to analyze visual data on the HoloLens 2 headset itself. This will save time as the headset won’t have to upload the data to the cloud first for analysis.
HoloLens headsets have a custom multiprocessor called the Holographic Processing Unit. It processes all of the information coming from internal sensors, including the depth sensor and head-tracking cameras.
The HPU is what makes the HoloLens a self-contained holographic computer. The second version of the HPU is going to integrate an artificial intelligence coprocessor to natively and flexibly integrate Deep Neural Networks.
Microsoft says that this new chip on the HoloLens 2 headset is going to enable the device to provide better performance without having to compromise on mobility. It also makes the device much user-friendly.
Since HoloLens 2 will not have to upload data to the cloud all the time for analysis, it won’t really require users to have an internet connection available at all times. It will be able to carry out all of the crucial analysis tasks locally. The data processing will be more secure as well since the data won’t leave the user’s device.