The new Snapdragon 845 processor from Qualcomm is going to power a lot more than just Android flagship smartphones this year. Qualcomm today announced a Snapdragon 845 virtual reality headset reference design, it’s powered by the company’s latest high-end mobile platform which can be used for both virtual reality and augmented reality applications.
The reference design is capable of powering two 2400 x 2400 pixel resolution screens at 120 frames per second. That’s quite a bit higher than existing headsets such as the Vive Pro from HTC which drivers 1400 x 1600 resolution per eye. The VR headset has four cameras two of which face inwards in order to track eye movements. It supports room-scale six degrees of freedom head tracking with simultaneous mapping and localization.
Foveated rendering has also been built into this reference design. It relies on an eye tracker to ascertain where the user’s eye is focused. It then lowers the resolution of the peripheral vision areas so that the focused areas can be rendered at a higher resolution. This not only saves power but also improves performance.
It can deliver a 30 percent improvement in graphics performance while being 30 percent more power efficient at more than twice the display throughput compared to its predecessor. Now that this reference design has been announced by Qualcomm, we can expect OEMs to launch new VR headsets based on this platform later this year.