Qualcomm will soon unveil a new XR chip faster than the one in Quest 3
Qualcomm plans to unveil a next-generation XR chip in early 2024 that could one day power high-end headsets from Samsung and LG.
South Korean news publication Electronic Times spoke with Qualcomm's VP of XR Hugo Swart. According to a machine translation of the article, Swart said:
"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."
Earlier this year, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Google announced a partnership to develop a mixed reality headset. The project is reportedly a response to Apple's XR plans. The company unveiled the Apple Vision Pro in June. The headset will be released in early 2024 and will cost $3,500.
A chip for high-end mixed reality headsets
The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 is the latest XR chip from Qualcomm. It was unveiled at Meta Connect 2023 and Meta Quest 3 is the first headset to use it. The chip is based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and offers more than twice the GPU performance of the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, which powers the last-gen Meta Quest 2 and Pico 4. However, both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 are vastly outperformed by the M2 chip in the Apple Vision Pro.
Qualcomm's next XR chip is likely to change that. Electronic Times quotes Swart as saying that Qualcomm will introduce a next-gen XR chip in the first quarter of 2024. Swart did not provide details. The chip could be based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 or the much more powerful Snapdragon X intended for laptops, which will compete with Apple's M-series chips. Both Snapdragon chips were unveiled last week at the Snapdragon Summit.
If Samsung and LG launch their own mixed reality headsets in response to Apple's Vision Pro, they will likely rely on Qualcomm's higher-end XR chip. The same could be true for Meta: A few weeks ago, another South Korean website reported that Meta was working with LG on a possible successor to the Quest Pro, which would cost around $2,000 and be released in 2025.