Qualcomm and Microsoft reveal availability for Snapdragon Windows 10 PCs

The headset offers "more than twice as much display throughput" when compared to Qualcomm's VR platform based on the 835, offers 30% faster performance, and uses 30% less power.

Although we first heard about the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform in December, seeing the reference design gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the next generation of mobile VR headsets.

Snapdragon 845 headsets will also use a combination of 6DoF (degrees of freedom) and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) to track the body and location, allowing you walk around freely within a room without the need for sensors and cables. "With Snapdragon 845, we believe we can achieve a high-quality VR experience with low latency, high frame rates and smooth head tracking performance for our users". Supported within the AI Engine, Snapdragon core hardware architectures - Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Vector Processor, Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU and Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU - are engineered to run AI applications quickly and efficiently on-device.

However, the Snapdragon 845 chipset isn't just bringing new features and a few technical improvements.

In their announcement, Qualcomm has listed a number of partners including Xiaomi, OnePlus, vivo, OPPO, Motorola, ASUS and ZTE who are already utilising the AI engine components to "to accelerate AI applications on their devices".


One of the components is the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE), a framework created to make it easier for developers to choose which Snapdragon core - the Hexagon Vector Processor, Adreno GPU, or Kryo CPU - to use for AI-enabled applications. The company hasn't said how many devices can receive audio at any one time, although Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager, voice and music, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd, says "hundred" of teenagers could potentially listen to the same song via headphones as a "silent disco".

The Qualcomm AI Engine supports the Neural Processing Engine which includes support for both Google's Tensorflow and Facebook's Caffe and Caffe2 frameworks.

In addition, the company provides support for the Android Neural Networks API, first released in Android Oreo, giving developers access to Snapdragon platforms directly through the Android operating system.

Qualcomm will be demoing the capabilities of the Snapdragon 845 and the AI Engine at Mobile World Congress. ArcSoft and Thundercomm offer single camera and dual camera algorithms to Snapdragon partners.

Furthermore, Qualcomm states this tech features "near ideal synchronization", meaning regardless of which audio sources are connected, the audio playing should be synced well enough that you don't hear any odd timing. It can be added retroactively to devices via an over-the-air update, the company says.


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