Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 looks like a pretty sizeable upgrade for the upcoming Meta Quest 3.

Meta Quest 3 with the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip badge

Key Takeaways

  • Meta’s upcoming Quest 3 will be powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, offering 8x AI performance and 2.5x GPU performance compared to its predecessor.
  • The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 features impressive capabilities such as Wi-Fi 7 support, 3K resolution per eye, and full-color passthrough, blending the digital and real worlds seamlessly.
  • With enhanced AI capabilities, better power efficiency, and Wi-Fi 7 and Wi-Fi 6E support, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 will provide a faster and more immersive experience for Meta Quest 3 users.

When it comes to virtual reality, Meta is still very much at the top of the pile, especially when it comes to affordability. Meta’s upcoming Quest 3 aims to continue the company’s dominance in the industry, and it will be aided in doing so by Qualcomm’s new chipset aimed at just that: the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2. With eight times the AI performance per watt of the XR2 Gen 1 and 2.5 times the GPU performance, it’s one of the most powerful SoCs for a virtual reality headset on the market today.

In terms of capabilities, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 packs a punch very similar to that of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. With Wi-Fi 7 support, optimization for up to a 3K resolution per eye, and massive AI improvements, it’s a massive leap over the XR2 Gen 1 which was based on the Snapdragon 865. Full-color passthrough support is here as well, with speeds as fast as 12ms for comfort and blending the digital and real worlds together.

Qualcomm also notes that the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 has “50% better power efficiency” and “no external battery needed”; a clear swipe at Apple’s own Vision Pro. With its enhanced AI capabilities in environment tracking and and plane detection, it should also be significantly faster than the XR2 Gen 1 in other devices like the Meta Quest 2. With Wi-Fi 7 support and Wi-Fi 6E, users will also benefit from greater throughput and lower latency, especially important when using technologies like Meta’s Quest Air Link for streaming games to your headset.

Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1, a lower-powered SoC aimed primarily at smart glasses. It has on-device AI, support for a 1280×1280 display in each eye, and Wi-Fi 7 connectivity for fast, low-latency communication. Both will be in Meta devices in 2023, with the Meta Quest 3 coming with XR2 Gen 2 support. As well, the Ray-Ban Stories will be powered by the Snapdragon AR1 platform.

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